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" Here exiles meet from every clime, 

And speak in friendship every distant tongue ; 
Men from the blood of warring Europe sprung, 
Are here divided by the running brook." 

" Ah '■ need I paint the deeds that dyed with gore 
Wild Rassin's water's or Chicago's shore." 




Entered according to an Ac't of Congress, 
In the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New York, in the year 1844. 







S^e {oUotomg Sffiotfe is xesfectMls IBttskuWO 




Digitized by tine Internet Arcliive 

in 2010 witli funding from 

CARLI: Consortium of Academic and Researcli Libraries in Illinois 


The position now occupied by the State of Illinois, in the American 
Confederacy — its present importance — its future hopes, and ultimate con- 
sequence — rende-r an excuse unnecessary for attempting its history. 
Whether the attempt shall succeed or not, remains to be seen. 

Many have supposed, that a State so young can furnish nothing of 
interest deserving the historian. They seem, however, not to consider, 
that Illinois was settled at an early day — that the Spaniards once claimed 
— that the French once occupied — that the English once conquered — and 
the Americans afterward held " this proud domain" by right of conquest ; 
that the Gaul, the Saxon, and the savage — the Protestant, the Jesuit, 
and the Pagan — for more than a century here struggled for mastery. 
They have also forgotten, or never knew, that John Law and his asso- 
ciates, in " the Mississippi Scheme," once claimed the whole territory as 
theirs — that Fort Chartres was built by them at an expense of several 
millions, and that a portion of its soil is now held and occupied, under 
titles derived from that " eminent speculator." 

Considerations, growing out of the above circumstances, will explain 
the reason in part, why the author has introduced some apparently irrel- 
evant matter into his narrative. It will be discovered, however, upon reflec- 
tion, that no such irrelevant matter has found a place in the volume now 
offered to the public ; but, on the contrary, that the History of IllinoisXas 
Sterne says in the middle of some one of his interminable digressions in 
Tristam Shandy,) has " all the while been progressing." / 

Should our explanation be thought defective, we, in that case, assure 
our readers, as the Roman pontiff did Bonaparte, the young conqueror 
of Italy, when the former was about to give the latter his blessing — on 
perceiving an air of incredulity lurking in "the you/ig conqueror's 
eye," he at o.vice changed his discourse, and dexterously observed ; "the 
blessing of an old man can do you no harm." I^* is just so with our 
book. These digressions are not intended for the perusal of those who 
read merely to criticise, but for those who rea^ for information. Such 
will derive " no harm," and may, perhaps, derive some benefit from 
their perusal. By beginning however at the end, and reading backward, 


(as the lobster travels,) the whole difficulty will be obviated, and the cbn- 
nection between all its parts distinctly perceived. 

There is, in Illinois proper, much good historical matter. Some of the 
most thrilling scenes in the history of our race have occurred in Illinois. 
Its early settlement by the French — the narratives of their first Mission- 
aries thither — the expedition of Colonel Clarke to Kaskaskia, and after- 
ward to Vincennes — the account given by him of the savages, and of his 
mode and manner of treating them, are nowhere else surpassed. The 
massacre at Chicago — ^the Black Hawk war — the Mormon Prophet — the 
history of the Illinois Banks — its Canal and internal improvements — and 
lastly, of its credit, cannot fail (if properly told,) to interest both the 
citizen and the stranger. 

The author regrets his inability to do them more ample justice. He 
also regrets, that in the hurry of the moment, he has not more frequently 
given credit; and on some occasions, done better justice to those from 
Vi'hose works he has so liberally extracted. Professional avocations, and 
the hurry and confusion incident thereto, together with the necessity 
imposed on him of employing others to transcribe his manuscripts for the 
press, are the only apologies he can offer. A poor excuse is better than 
none. The following work was written at a distance from well-assorted 
libraries. The means of information, at his disposal, were defective 
upon many subjects of which he treats. He has endeavored, however, 
to avail himself of all the resources in his power ; and although he is 
aware of its defects, the work, he hopes, will be thought by some 
worthy of perusal. 

In order to make it readable, he has now and then horroiced an Indian 
massacre from some of the adjacent States. This license is, perhaps, 
more poetical than historical. Inasmuchj however, as it has been taken 
for the sole benefit of the reader, "the theft," he~apprehends, "will not 
be deemed profane." 

Ceicago, Illinois, May 22nd, 1844. 




Introduction — Discovery — Columbus — His difficulties — His squadron — ^His 

death — His poverty — ^His descendants — Respect to his memory - - 1 


Indian Character — Unacquainted with Iron — Unused to labor — ^Unacquainted 
■with any but the simplest Arts — Skilled in hunting — Eloquent — Fond 
of gambling — Dcincing — Addicted to drunkenness — Is superstitious — 
Logan — ^Philip — Tecumseh — Red Jeicket 10 


Indian Antiqmties — Their origin — Dr. Robertson's Theory — Other Theories 

— ^Ruins in South America — Stephens — Catherwood and Norman - 33 


Illinois a part of Florida, — Spaniards in America — Cortez — ^Pizarro — ^Ponce 

de Leon — De Soto — Moscoso — Melendez — De Grourgues - - - 50 


Colonization of Virginia— Its materiality — Eaily English navigators — John 

Smith - - - - • ...--- 65 


Colonization of Massachusetts — Puritans in England and in America — Re- 

formation — Luther — Calvin — vSir Harry Vane — Hugh Peters . - 86 




French in America — Jesuits— Marquette — La Salle, and others — ^Kaskaskia 

—Cahokia— Texas 103 


Dutch in America — English Revolution in 1688 — Wars consequent there- 
upon — Iroquois, or Six Nations — Western New-York rescued from the 
French by their braver^' — Jesuit Missionaries — Quebec taken — Restored 

Sir Hoveden Walkefs Expedition to Quebec, under the auspices of Bo- 

hngbroke — Spaniards seize upon Texas — Illinois granted to Crozat - 134 


Illinois granted to the Company of the Indies — John Law — Mississippi 
Scheme — ^Fort Chaiti-es built — South-Sea Bubble — Fort Massac built — 
Fort Massac taken - 158 


War of 1756 — Its origin — Progress — Ohio Company — ^Braddock's defeat — 
Colonel Washington — Virginia — Oswego — Ticonderoga — Crown Point 
— Lomsburgh — William Pitt — Quebec taken — General Wolf killed^ — 
Montcalm — Respect to the dead — Pontiac War— Illinois ceded to England 173 


Illinois a Province of England — General Gage, Commander-in-chief — His 
Head-quaiters in New -York — Appoints Justices of the Peace in Kas- 
kaskia — War of 1776 — Its cause, progress, and termination — Colonel 
Clarke's Expedition to Kaska^kia 207 


Colonel Clarke's Expedition to Vincennes— Monsieur- Cere — M. Gibault— 
Captain Helm — Colonel Todd — Louisville founded — Peace, 1783 — 
Clarke's negotiations with the Indians, etc. 241 


Western Posts — Campaigns of General Harmar — St. Clair and Wayne — 
Treaty of Greenville— Eilects of Wayne's victory— Western Posts given 
Tip — Settlements in Illinois ...---- 259 




Tecumseh — Little Turtle — Count Zwinzendorff— General Harrison — Battle of 

Tippecanoe — Tecumseh in Maiden --.... 274 


War of 1812 — Hull's Campaign — Mackinaw taken — Van Horn captured 

Battle of Brownstown — Detroit surrendered - - - . 285 


Chicago Massacre — Captain Heald — Captain WeUs — Prisoners massacred — 

Billy Caldwell— Mrs. Heald— Mi's. Helm - - - - - 304 



Harrison's Campaign — General Hopkins's Expedition to Illinois — Grovernor 
Edwards' and Colonel Russel's Expedition — River Raisin — Fort Meigs 
besieged — Fort Stephenson also — Major Croghan — Battle of Lake Erie — 
Battle of the Thames — General Proctor defeated — Tom Higgins — Peace, 
1815 317 


Illinois admitted into the Union — Burr's Conspiracy — Steamboats — Missis- 
sippi Boats — Boundaries of the State — Attempts to alter them — Abortive 343 


Black Hawk War — Battle of Wisconsin — Battle of Bad-axe — Black Hawk 
taken prisoner — General Scott — Cholera — Treaty — Black Hawk's death 
— Character - - - - ,-,-"•-- . 354 


Mormons — Their Origin — Their Creed — Biography of Joseph Smith, the 

Mormon Prophet . . - 386 


Public Lands — Chief Justice Marshal's opinion — Distribution — Its corrupt 

tendency 404 




minois and Michigan Canal — Internal Improvements — Works suspended — 

Damages liquidated — Prospects of its completion - - - - 413 


Elinois Banks — Their Histoiy — Shavsmeeto'^ro Bank — Edwardsville Bank- 
Cairo Bank — Old State Bank — Late State Bank — Legislation in rela- 
tion thereto - - - - 428 


Eeligion in Illinois — Literature — College at Kaskaskia — at Jacksonville — Ju- 
bilee College. — Medical College in Chicago — Slavery — Its origin and 
effects — Probable abolition - - 442 


Debt — Taxation — Finance — Future Resources — State able to pay Principal 

and Interest — Willing to do the same - - - - - - 468 


Death of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet 486 

Mississippi Flood ...-..■-. do. 



C H A P T E R I . 

Columbus arrives in Spain — Is denied an audience with the king — Is afterward admitted 
into his presence — Council of Salamanca — Columbus appears before it — His theory 
is rejected — Returns to the convent of La Rabida — Martin Alonzo Pinzon — Columbus 
is again invited to court — The queen espouses his cause — Negotiation concluded — 
Sets out for Palos — Difficulties in fitting out his squadron — Its description — Embarks 
— Discovers land — Origin of the term Indian. ' 

Problems, incapable once of being solved by the aid of science, are 
now easily explained. Knowledge, which gave formerly to its possessor 
the rank of a philosopher, is now the common property of school-boys — 
and experiments that, in the last century, would have brought their ope- 
rator to the stake for witchcraft, are now mere juvenile recreations. 

Some curious phenomena, exhibited by a piece of iron ore, before our 
nation had an existence, led a philosopher of Amalfi, in Italy, to inquire 
into the cause. Particles of the same kind he perceived were mutually 
attracted. In one of his experiments, he saw it, when suspended by a 
thread, point directly to the northern star, and being turned in another 
direction and set free, it resumed its former position. The result of his 
experiment was sent to the academicians of Florence, and their curiosity 
was aroused. They tried similar experiments, and it was finally discov- 
ered that its magnetic properties were transferable to hardened steel. 
Hence the mariner's compass, which guided Columbus across the ocean, 
and led to the discovery of another world. Our nation now extends its 
arms from the St. Croix to the Capes of Florida, and from the Atlantic, 
westward, to the Rocky mountains and the Columbia river, embracing in 
its ample folds, a large portion of the American Continent. Eighteen 


millions of people, governed by similar laws, and speaking the language 
of Shakespere and Milton, are a part only, of its fruit. Were we per- i 
mitted to lift the curtain, and unfold the glories that await the future, a 
population equal to the whole of Europe at no very distant period, would 
in all probability meet our view. With such speculations, however, we 
have nothing at present to do : — facts, and facts only, become the his- 
toric page. 

Although recent discoveries in South America conclusively show, that 
a living multitude of civilized inhabitants thronged this Western world, 
when the British Isles were unknown ; that the arts and sciences were 
here taught in great perfection, when our ancestors were wandering in 
the woods ; those discoveries have not as yet been sufficiently developed, to 
make them the basis of an historic record. We will, therefore, for the 
present pursue the accustomed track; and suppose, what is generally 
believed, that the Eastern and Western Continents, till recently, were 
strangers, and that the latter, at the time of its first discovery, was of but 
little or no importance. 

If facts, says Mr. Irving, in his life of Columbus, are to be inferred 
from no other than authentic records, the Eastern and Western hemis- 
pheres, previous to the fifteenth century, were strangers to each other. 
Some wandering bark, driven by tempests, without compass, across the 
ocean, may have reached by accident the opposing shore. It revealed, 
however, if such was the fact, no secrets of the deep, and no one ventured 
to spread a sail in pursuit of land, wrapped in mystery and peril. The 
wide waste of waters that intervened was regarded as before, with awe 
and wonder, and bound the world as with a chaos, which conjecture 
sought not to penetrate, and enterprise feared to adventure. 

Not far from the little town of Palos, in Spain, containing at the present 
time, about four hundred inhabitants, which subsist chiefly by labor in its 
neighboring vineyards ; there was in 1485, and still is, an ancient convent 
dedicated to Santa Maria de Rabid a. A stranger on foot, in humble 
guise, but of a distinguished air, accompanied by a small boy, stopped 
one day at its gate, and asked of the porter a little bread and water for 
his child. That stranger was Columbus. He had fled from Portugal 
for debt, whither he had been to tender its monarch the discovery of a 

To trace the progress of the illustrious stranger in quest of a patron, 
from the quiet cloisters of La Rabida to the palace of Castile's haughty 
queen, or to the " ancient and warlike city of Cordova, where prelates and 
friars mingled in martial conflict, and cardinals and bishops in helm and 
corslet, laying aside the crozier for the lance, sought new and hitherto 
untrodden paths to Heaven through heaps of the slain," is not consistent 
with our design. 

His story, however, though oft-repeated, has still its charms. The force 
of talents — the eflect of perseverance, and the result of moral and polit- 
ical integrity, are so strikingly exhibited in the life and conduct of this 


daring adlventurer, at courts, in palaces, in tempests and in chains, that 
its relation interests alike the student and the philosopher. 

Excluded at Cordova from the brilliant crowd which filled every ave- 
nue to the throne, in consequence of the humble garb in which his pov- 
erty compelled him to appear, and driven by necessity to the making of 
maps and charts for a subsistence, he felt, notwithstanding, the dignity of 
his race, and the importance of his errand ; and at last, by some happy 
efforts, found his way into the presence of the king. He there plead the 
cause of a hitherto undiscovered world. The sincerity of his conversa- 
tion, the elevation of his views, and the practical shrewdness of his argu- 
ments, commanded the respect of Ferdinand, though failing to produce 
conviction. The subject matter, however, of his singular enterprise, was 
referred to the ablest and most learned men in the realm ; and as the 
treasures of human wisdom were at that time locked up principally in 
monasteries, and the university of Salamanca was its principal residence, 
a council of clerical sages composed of its professors, with various digni- 
taries of the church and learned friars, was convened in its convent by 
order of the king. 

Before this council Columbus appeared. An obscure navigator, desti- 
tute of those circumstances which make dullness somewhat oracular, it 
could hardly be expected would produce a serious or lasting impression 
on such a mass of inert bigotry and learned pride, as was there assem- 
bled. His theory, we need not therefore remark, was of course rejected. 

When Columbus had a fair opportunity of being heard, his command- 
ing person, (as we are informed,) his elevated demeanor, his air of au- 
thority, his kindling eye, and the persuasive intonations of his voice, gave 
power to his words ; and when the doctrinal objections of his adversaries 
were set in battle-array against him in the council at Salamanca, his 
visionary spirit it is said took fire, and casting aside his maps and charts, 
and discarding for a time his practical and scientific lore, he met them 
upon their own grounds, and pouring forth " those magnificent texts of 
Scripture, and those mysterious predictions of the prophets, which in his 
enthusiastic moments he considered as types and annunciations of the 
sublime discovery he proposed," he overwhelmed his learned and preju- 
diced examiners, with a torrent of words and arguments, which nothing 
save bigotry could resist. 

Ignorance and stupidity, however, for a while prevailed. Other mili- 
tary movements succeeded, and Columbus was forgotten. Regarded by 
many as a lunatic, the children, we are told, pointed to their foreheads as 
he passed by, and his theory being at last rejected by the king and queen, 
he turned his back on Seville, (where the court then resided,) regretting 
that he had wasted so many years of his life in useless solicitations. 

Having sought in vain the patronage of dukes and princes, who had 
possessions on the coasts, and ports and ships at their command, he re- 
turned at last to the humble convent of La Rabida, to take from thence 
his son, (where, during his absence, its worthy prior had kindly enter- 
tained him,) and repair to France, whose king had invited him thither. 



The good friar, Juan Perez, was exceedingly moved at Columbus's re- 
turn, and sent, as he had done before, for his friend, Garcia Fernandez, 
the physician, and Martin Alonzo Pinzon, a wealthy and distinguished 
navigator of Pales, (whose subsequent destiny no one can fail to regret,) 
by whom a council was held. The latter offered to engage in the expe- 
dition, and to defray Columbus's expenses to court, for the purpose of re- 
n&wing, under the auspices of Juan Perez, an application which had just 
been rejected. This was the first, and at that time, the only pecuniary 
assistance received by the latter in aid of his great and glorious under- 
taking. Juan Perez hastened himself to Grenada, whither the royal 
court had then removed, and had an interview with the queen. The 
latter, after several years' solicitations, bethinking herself, for the first 
time, of Columbus's poverty, sent him twenty thousand maravedis, in 
florins, (equal to seventy-two silver dollars,) to bear his travelling ex- 
penses to Grenada, to provide him with a mule for his journey, and decent 
appai'el to appear at court. 

Animated by hope, he set out at once to meet his patron, and arrived 
at Grenada just in time to witness its surrender. " He saw the last of 
the Moorish kings sally forth from the Alhambra, and yield up to his 
conqueror the keys of that favorite residence of Moslem power." The 
war which had now raged for seven hundred years between the Christian 
and the Moor, had ceased; the crescent was prostrate, the cross was ex- 
alted, and the standard of Spain floating on its ramparts. . 

A negotiation was thereupon immediately opened. Unexpected diffi- 
culties, however, arose ; Columbus would listen to none but princely 
conditions, and these were inadmissible. Others were proposed, and 
being rejected by the latter, the negotiation was, of course, terminated, 
and to all appearance, for ever. 

The loftiness of spirit displayed by Columbus on this occasion, cannot 
be sufliciently admired. Eighteen years had elapsed since he first pub- 
lished to the world his theory, and announced his intention, by some voy- 
age of discovery, to test its correctness ; that period had been spent in 
painful but ineffectual efforts, and nothing but necessity could for a mo- 
ment shake his purpose, or induce him to accept of terms beneath his 
dignity. He seemed to forget his own obscurity, to overlook his present 
indigence, and to negotiate, as it were, for empire. 

These negotiations, however, being closed, he took leave of his friends 
at Grenada, early in February, 1492, and mounting his mule, started for 
Cordova, intending to abandon a country which had made him her sport, 
and in which he thought he had been treated with indignity. Having 
pursued his lonely way across the Vega, and passed the bridge of Pinos, 
about two leagues from Grenada, and begun to ascend the mountain of 
Elvira, a pass famous in Moorish story, he was overtaken by a messenger 
from the queen, who informed him that Isabella had espoused his cause, 
and pledged her jewels to raise the necessary funds. 

After hesitating for a moment, he turned the reins of his mule, and 


sought her presence. Articles of agreement were immediately drawn 
up by the royal secretary, and signed on the 17th of April, 1492. The 
sum of seventeen thousand floi'ins, or about three thousand dollars, was 
afterward advanced, to defray its expenses. 

Columbus was now in the fifty-sixth year of his age ; disappointments 
that would have reduced an ordinary man to despair, had hitherto been 
his lot. His wishes, however, were now attained, and, on the 12th of 
May, 1492, he set out joyfully for Palos. 

The difficulties attending his expedition were now about to commence. 
The little town of Palos, on the announcement of his mission thither, was 
filled with consternation ; the ships demanded by the royal edict, were 
regarded in the light of sacrifices, and their crews as so many victims. 
The order of the sovereign was, therefore, ineffectual ; a more absolute 
mandate, sent thitlier by an officer of the royal household, fared no better ; 
and, but for the exertions of Martin Alonzo Pinzon, the whole expedition 
at that time, unquestionably would have failed. The example of the 
latter was, however, contagious ; and in less than four weeks after he had 
tendered his services and agreed to accompany it, the whole armament 
was equipped and ready for sea. 

It consisted of three small vessels ; two of them light barques, or cara- 
vals, open and without decks in the centre, high at the prow and stern, 
with forecastles and cabins for the crew — the other was entirely decked. 
The largest vessel was of less than a hundred tons burden, and v/ould 
compare, though imperfectly, with one of the second-rate schooners that 
navigate our inland seas — the other two would suffer in comparison with 
the humble craft that bring lumber to Chicago. They were manned with 
ninety men, and victualled for a year. 

Such was the armament provided by a once powerful nation and the 
most accomplished princess in Europe, for the discovery of a world. 

Columbus, having confessed himself and partaken of the sacrament, in 
which his officers and crew participated, on Friday the 13th day of Au- 
gust, 1492, about half an hour before sunrise, committed himself and his 
little armament, under the guidance and direction of Heaven, to the open 
sea. r," ' A, ■•-.. '~ :. . '.'■ . • ., 

On arriving at the Canaries, three weeks and upward were consumed 
in repairs. From thence he embarked, on the 6th of September, when 
the voyage of discovery in fact was commenced. 

On the 9th, the heights of Farro vanished from their view, and every- 
thing dear to them on earth was left behind — friends, country, and home. 
Chaos, mystery, and peril, were alone before them. 

Of Columbus's difficulties with his crew — the means to which he had 

recourse, in order to allay their fears, and his numerous perplexities on the 

voyage, and afterward, by sea and land, we forbear to speak. They have 

all been frequently told, and are, or ought to be, familiar to our readers. 

Suffice it then, to remark, that on the evening of the 11th of October, 


1492, thirty-five days only after leaving the Canaries, when the mari- 
ners had sung their usual hymn to the Virgin, indications of land were 
so apparent, that Columbus ordered his sails to be furled, and a strict 
watch to be kept — and when the shades of evening had set in, he took his 
station on the top of the forecastle or cabin, from whence, at about 10 
o'clock, he thought he beheld a light. His suspicions were afterward 
confirmed, and continuing on his course until about two in the morning, 
a gun from the Pinta (one of the vessels in his little fleet) announced the 
signal of land. 

In spite of every obstacle, he had now accomplished his object. The 
mystery of the ocean was at once revealed. The truth of his theory, 
which had been the sport even of sages, was confirmed, and he was im- 

As the morning dawned, an island of surpassing beauty,* verdant 
with forests, and loaded with fruits of a tempting hue, spread its treasures 
before him. Its inhabitants, issuing from the woods and running to all 
parts of the shore, were seen gazing on his fleet, and from their attitudes 
and gestures, appeared to be amazed. They had seen his vessels with 
their sails spread, hovering on their coast, and advancing in solemn majesty 
to their shores, and " had an army of Milton's celestial angels, robed ia 
light, sporting in the bright beams of the sun, redoubling their splendor, 
and making divine harmony with their golden harps," issued from the 
deep, it would have excited no other or greater surprise. 

On the 11th of October, 1492 — a day ever memorable in the annals of 
our race — Columbus landed, with a drawn sword in his hand, (the fit 
emblem, though at that time undesigned, of what succeeded,) and took 
possession of the country in the names of Ferdinand and Isabella. Suppo- 
sing he had landed on an island at the extremity of India, he called the 
inhabitants by the appellation of Indians, which has since universally 
been adopted, and extended to the aboriginal inhabitants of the whole 
Western Continent. 

In contemplating the effects of this discovery, the human imagination is 
perfectly bewildered. The emotions it created, no language can express. 
The consequences which folloAved, no pen can describe. Its original 
inhabitants have not been the only parties in interest. The inhabitants of 
other realms, and of other continents, sometimes with, and sometimes 
without their consent, have participated therein, either for weal or for wo. 

The character and habits, origin and destination, of the aborigines, be- 
ing at all times subjects of interest, and especially at the present time, 
demand, and of course will next receive, our attention. 


Mr. Irving, in his biography of Columbus, having taken him up in boyhood, or as soon 
as he could find him — having sailed with him to the uttermost parts of the earth — having 
watched over him at sea, and messed with him on shore — having stood by him througli 

* St. Salvador, one of the Bahama islands. 


all his crosses arid losses, perplexities and achievements, great and small, even to his dying 
day — having also witnessed his last will and testament, and attended to all the ceremonies 
of his funeral, like an aifectionate brother, or, as Grattan once said of Ireland, having 
" sat by its cradle, and followed its hearse :" — The American reader who has perused Mr. 
living's admirable work, who feels, or ought to feel a deep interest in all that appertains 
to Columbus's buffeting, toiling, and begging his way to success and glory, may desire, 
perhaps, to know something further in relation to the family and descendants of the great 
" Discoverer." 

■* Columbus, broken down by age and infirmity, worn out by toil and hardship, and hav- 
ing, as he says himself^ " no place to resort to but an inn, and frequently, not wherewithal 
to pay his bill," died a " broken down and shipwrecked man," at Valladolid, in Spain, 
en the 20th of May, 1506, in the seventieth year of his age, ignorant of the real grandeur 
of his discovery. 

His body was deposited in the convent of Saint Francisco, and his obsequies celebrated 
with funeral pomp, at Valladolid, in the parochial church of Santa Maria de la Antiqua. 
His remains were afterward, in 1513, conveyed to the Carthusian monastery of La 
Cuevas of Seville ; and in 1536, they were removed from thence to Hispaniola, and in- 
terred in the principal chapel of the Cathedral, of the city of St. Domingo. 

The island of Hispaniola having been ceded to France in 1795, the Duke of Veragua, the 
lineal successor of Columbus, on the 20th of December, in that year, caused his remains 
to be removed from thence, with military pomp, to the Island of Cuba, and deposited with 
reverence in the wall, on the right side of the grand altar in the Cathedral church, at 

" When we reflect," says Mr. Irving, " that it was from this very port, Columbus was 
carried oft' in his life-time, loaded with ignominious chains, blasted apparently in fame 
and fortune, and followed by the revilings and hootings of a fickle populace, we cannot 
fail to perceive, how triumphantly merit outlives detraction, and to observe that the re- 
moval of his remains, as national relics, after an interval of more than two hundred years, 
with civil and military pomp, (the most dignified and illustrious men, vieing with each 
other in manifestations of reverence,) speaks comfort to the illustrious, yet slandered and 
persecuted living." 

The latter part of his fife was fuU of peril. His last voyage, in particular, had shat- 
tered a frame, worn out by hardships in the service of an ungrateful king. The suspen- 
sion of Ills honors — the violation of the articles of agreement between him and liis 
sovereign — the enmity of his adversaries — the envy to which he was exposed, and the 
defamation which followed him at every turn, threw a dark and impenetrable shadow 
over that glory which had for years been the object of his ambition. Well might the 
most illustrious man of the age, 

" Ask from a thankless world e peaceful tomb." 

On the death of Columbus, his son Diego succeeded, nominally, to his rights as viceroy 
and governor of the New Wofld. Don Diego urged the restitution of the family offices and 
privileges which, during the latter part of his father's life, had been suspended. Ferdi- 
nand, however, turned a deaf ear to his solicitations. The young admiral, fiiding ail 
appeals to equity and generosity unavailing, sought permission to pursue his claims in a 
court of law. This, the king could not reasonably deny. A suit was therefore com- 
menced by Diego Columbus, against the king, before the council for the Indies. This 
memorable action was brought in 1508, and continued for several years, A unanimous 
decision of the court was at length obtained in favor of Columbus ; still, the wily monarch 
sought and found a pretext for refusing to carry it into execution, and the young admiral 
was finally indebted for success in this suit, to success in another suit of a different char- 
acter. Donna Maria de Toledo, a young lady of rank and fortune, niece of the celebrated 
Duke of Alva, afterward so distinguished in the reign of Charles V., and cousin german of 


the king, was at that time a favorite at the Spanish court. The glory which Columbua 
the elder, had acquired, rested upon his son. The claims of Don Diego, confirmed by the 
council of the Indies, raised him to a level with the proudest aristocracy in the land — he 
sought and obtained this lady in marriage, and the family of Columbus was thus ingrafted 
on one of the oldest and most respectable families in Spain. Diego, having in this man- 
ner secured that magical power, called " connections," the imperial favor withheld from 
the son of Columbus, fell in showers upon a relative of the Duke of Alva. In 1509, the 
young admiral embarked with his bride and a numerous retinue of cavaUers, for His- 
paniola. The vice-queen, who was a lady of extraordinary intelligence, on her arrival 
thither, established a sort of court, which threw a degree of lustre over this then, semi- 
barbarous island, and contributed materially to' soften the rude manners which had grown 
up in a state of society destitute of those salutary restraints which are produced by female 

Don Diego, however, inherited not only the rank, but the troubles of his father. In- 
volved in difficulties with the fiscal, he repaired to court in 1515, and was received with 
great honor by the king. On the 23rd of Januaiy, 1516, Ferdinand died, and was suc- 
ceeded by his grandson, the celebrated Charles V. The emperor, after considerable delay, 
acknowledged Don Diego's right to exercise the office of viceroy and governor of Hispan- 
iola, and in 1520 he returned thither, found its affairs in confusion, and in 1523, was 
informed that his presence was necessaiy in Spain. He repaired again to court, and 
plead his cause so well, that the sovereign and council acknowledged at once his inno- 
cence. The dispute, however, between the admiral and the fiscal, was protracted to such 
a length, that he, like his father, died in the pursuit. He left Toledo in a litter on the 21st 
of Feb. 1526, for Seville, and on the 23rd died at Montalvan, " worn out by following up 
his claims, and defending himself from the calumnies of his competitors, who, with strata- 
gems and devices, sought to obscure the glory of the father, and the virtue of the son." 

At the time of his death, his wife and family were at St. Domingo. He left two sons, 
Louis and Christopher, and three daughters. 

After the death of Diego, his noble -spirited vice-queen, left with a number of young 
children, determined to assert and maintain the rights of the family. She demanded a 
licence from the royal audience of Hispaniola, to recruit men and fit out an armada to 
colonize the province of Veragua, which she alleged had been discovered by Columbus. 
Being refused in this request, she appealed to the Emperor, (Charles V.) He directed the 
vice-queen to be kept in suspense, until the justice of her pretensions could be ascertained. 
She therefore embarked for Spain, in order to protect the claims of her eldest son, Don 
Louis, then a child six years old. Charles V. himself was absent, but she was graciously 
received by the empress, and the title of Admiral of the Indies immediately conferred 
on her son. Charles could not, however, be prevailed upon to give Don Louis the title of 
viceroy, although that dignity had been decreed to his father as a hereditary right. The 
young admiral, Don Louis, therefore instituted proceedings for its recovery, which were 
afterward settled by arbitration, and Don Louis, finding all his dignities and privileges 
sources of mere vexation, finally entered into a compromise. By this compromise he gave 
up all iris pretensions to the viceroyalty of the New World, and received in its stead the 
titles of Buke of Veragua, and Marquis of .Jamaica, and a pension of 1000 doubloons in 
gold. Don l^ouis soon after died, leaving two daughters, Philippa and Maria. He was 
succeeded by Diego his nephew, a son of his brother Christopher. His daughter, how- 
ever, laid claim to his titles, and a law-suit took place bet\^en the nephew and daughter, 
which threaioning to prove tedious and expensive, was compromised by their intermar- 
riage. Their onion, though happy, was not fruitful ; and on Diego's death in 1578, the 
legitimate male line of Columbus became extinct. 

Another law-suix now arose, for the estates and dignities descended from the '• great 
discoverer," which was finally decided by the council of the Indies, on the 2nd of De- 
cember, 1608, in favor of Don Nunc Gelves de Portugallo, who became Duke of Veragua. 
He was grandson of Isabella, third daughter of Don Diego, son of the discoverer, by his 


vice-queen Donna Maria de Toledo. The Isabella above-named, had married Don George 
of Portugal, Count of Gelves. Thus the dignities and wealth of Columbus, passed into a 
branch of the Portuguese house of Braganza, established in Spain. It was a lineal de- 
scendant of this Duke of Veragua, who caused the remains of Columbus, the admiral, to be 
removed from St. Domingo to Cuba, in 1795, as before related. 



Spirit of adventure excited — Colonization — Natives of this country — Difficulty in obtaining 
correct information — Ancient Britons — Indians unacquainted with iron — Unused to 
animal labor — Unacqu!i"inted wth any but the simplest arts — Skilled in hunting and 
fishing — No legal tribunals — Limited ideas of property — Are revengeful — Skilled in 
war — At times,, eloquent — Sometimes torture their prisoners, sometimes receive and 
adopt them into their tribe — Savage warrior and Christian martyr compared — Hooper 
— Are fond of gambling — Are addicted to drunkenness — Are fond of dancing — War- 
dance described — His personal independence — His social relations — His rehgion — Is 
superstitious — Is eloquent — Logan — Pliihp — Tecumseh — Red Jacket — Reason why 
they refuse to become civilized. 

Intelligence of the great discovery achieved by Columbus, was soon 
spread from court to court, from city to city, and from nation to nation, 
till the whole of Europe, in a short time, resounded with his fame. 

It was like the accession of wealth to a miser. "Our minds," says 
Peter Martyr,, a cotemporary of Columbus, " soiled and debased by the 
common concerns of life, were elevated by its contemplation." " It was," 
said others, " a thing more divine than human." Every one rejoiced in 
the occurrence, as one in which he was personally interested. To some 
it presented an unbounded field of inquiry, to others an immense theatre 
for enterprise ; and all awaited with intense eagerness, a further develop- 
ment of the new and unexplored regions still covered with mystery, the 
first glimpses of which filled every eye with wonder. 

The spirit of adventure was at once roused to its highest pitch, and all 
Europe became enchanted. 

Portugal, distinguished for her nautical enterprise, was mortified by 
the prospect which dawned upon her rival. England, which as yet had 
been a maritime power of inferior importance, heax'd the glad tidings 
from a distant .shore, and awoke to enterprise and glory. France followed 
in her train. Holland and Sweden imitated their example, and in a short 
time, voyages of discovery were the theme of every tongue. 

To rob and plunder the natives, and afterward to colonize these newly 
discovered realms, engrossed for a while the attention of Europe ; and, 
to effect the latter, its prison-doors Avere unbarred, its felons were let 
loose — its population, high and low, rich and poor, bond and free — the 
accomplished cavalier who had triumphed in every field of battle — the 
patriot soldier who had trampled crowns beneath his feet — the vagrant, 
the miser, the debtor, the adventurer, the enthusiast, the loafer, (a term 
till recently unknown.) and also, the patriot and Christian, embarked, in 
vast multitudes, for this fairy land ; some in pursuit of fortune, others in 


pursuit of fame — some to avoid punishment, and some to avoid their 
creditors — some to rob the natives, some to enslave and some to convert 
them — some to plant colonies, and some to destroy them — some to avoid 
persecution, and some to persecute. A large portion, it must however be 
conceded, came hither to acquire, in this newly-discovered world, a 
country and a home, where religion, pure and undefiled, and patriotism 
without blemish — where science and the arts — where industry and 
economy, truth and sobriety, with all their kindred virtues, might flourish 
in immortal youth. 

The present inhabitants of Illinois, deriving their origin from almost 
€very nation under heaven, their history, of course, becomes partially 
cur own ; should we, therefore, in our narrative, recapitulate some por- 
tions of their eventful story — should we, in its course, inquire into their 
motives, and sometimes trace their progress from year to year, we shall 
not by so doing travel out of the record, or exceed the bounds of legiti- 
mate history. 

When ^neas fled from the conflagration of Troy, and was driven by 
the tempest upon a strange, inhospitable shore, his first object was to 
learn upon what coast he had been driven, and who were its inhabitants, 
whether men or wild beasts : 

At puis ^neas, pev noctem, plurima volvens, 
Ut primum lux alma, data est exire locosque 
Explorare novos quas vento accesserat oras ; 
Qui teneant (nam inculta videt) homines ne feree ne, 
Quirire constituit sociisque exacta referre. 

Although his celebrated voyage, by many is considered fabulous, (a 
•question we have no intention here to discuss,) it bears no comparison 
with that of Columbus ; nor do Virgil's celebrated heroes equal Cortez 
or Pizarro, or Smith of James Town, or other pilgrim warriors of New 
England. Nor do his native champions equal Philip of Pokanoket, or a 
multitude of Indian heroes, who have gone down to their graves unhonored 
and unsung. \ 

The early history of this Continent is wrapt in mystery ; its native in- 
habitants, when Columbus first landed on its shores, had no authentic 
records ; the information, therefore, we possess in relation to their anti- 
quities, is derived principally from strangers, and that information, scanty 
as it is, has not always been impartial. Nations advanced in knowledge, 
conscious of their own superiority, view untutored savages with scorn, 
and seldom acknowledge their occupations or their pleasures to be worthy 
of men. Communities, in their early and unpolished state, have not 
frequently been observed with care, by men endowed with minds supe- 
rior to vulgar prejudices, nor by persons capable of contemplating man, 
under whatever aspect he may appear, with a candid or discerning eye. 
The conquerors of South America were illiterate adventurers, in whom 
avarice and zeal were curiously blended. Surrounded with danger, and 
struggling with hardships, they had but little leisure, and less capacity, 


for speculative inquiry. Eager to enjoy a country abounding in wealth, 
and happy at finding it possessed by men unable to defend it, they looked 
upon the natives as upon wretches, fit only for servitude. 

The same diflSculty, to a certain extent, meets us at the very threshold 
in contemplating the Indians of North America. Although the first set- 
tlers of Virginia and Massachusetts, in a moral point of view, were supe- 
rior to the mercenary hordes that overrun and subjected to Spanish sway 
the fertile regions of the South, Ave have only to peruse their early history 
to be convinced, that impartiality, respecting the natives, was not among 
their virtues. 

In one particular, however, all agree — that this vast Continent, from 
one extremity to the other, when the restless foot of European adventure 
first trod its soil, was inhabited, or more properly speaking, was overrun 
by a race of men advanced more or less in civilization. There are, it is 
said, in New-Holland and in Africa at the present day, human beings in 
a state of nature, entirely ignorant of the most common arts of life. The 
natives of this country, though barbarous, were not at the time of its dis- 
covery, in that predicament. All of them had made more or less pro- 
gress in civilization, and the Mexicans and Peruvians, if we are to credit 
Spanish writers, had made considerable progress, not only in the arts, but 
in science ; and were at least on a par in that respect with their conquer- 
ors, except in the art or science of human butchery, in which, all admit, 
the latter excelled. The North American Indians were about on a par 
with the ancient Britons in the time of Julius Ceesar. 

Hume, the English historian, after speaking of the ancient Britons in 
the southeast part of the island, before the age of Csesar, observes : 
" The other inhabitants of the island still maintained themselves by pas- 
ture. They were clothed with the skins of beasts ; they dwelt in huts, 
which they reared in the forests and marshes with which the country 
was covered ; they shifted their habitations when hopes of plunder, or the 
fear of an enemy, impelled them ; the convenience of feeding their cattle 
was a sufficient motive for moving their seats ; and as they were ignorant 
of all the refinements of life, their wants and possessions were scanty and 

" The Britons were divided into nations or tribes, and being a military 
people, whose sole property was their arms and their cattle, it was impos- 
sible, after they had acquired a relish for liberty, for their princes or their 
chieftains to establish despotic authority over them. Their governments, 
though monarchical, were free, and the common people enjoyed more liberty 
than among the nations of Gaul, from whom they were descended. Each 
state was divided into factions within itself— and agitated with jealousy 
or animosity against the neighboring states. While the arts of peace 
were yet unknown, war was their chief occupation, and formed the 
chief'object of ambition among the people. 

" The Druids were their priests, and possessed great authority among 
them. Human sacrifices were practiced, and the spoils of war were de- 
voted, in part, to their divinities." 


Those acquainted with the character, habits, manners, and religion, 
of the Indians of Illinois, will recognize in the above a familiar picture, 
and by referring to Tacitus, the Roman historian, they will discover in 
• the Saxon race, from which we are principally descended, traits of char- 
;acter nearly similar. We must not, however, from thence infer, that 
the natives of this country are of Celtic or Saxon origin. Men, whose 
circumstances are alike, by a law of our nature, become assimilated in 
manners, in habits, and in character. A British poet, in speaking of 
Julius Csesar, remarks that he would have been a herdsman, or a great 
wrestler, had he not been a Roman emperor. 

Great Julius, on the mountain bred, 
A flock, perhaps, or herd had led ; 
He that the world subdued, had been 
But the best wrestler on the green. 

In some particulars, the natives of this country were vastly inferior to 
those who are called barbarous by the Europeans. The use of iron to 
the American savage was unknown. Hence, their inability to accom- 
plish works so easily performed by civilized men. In another particular 
too, they were also inferior to the barbarians of the Eastern Continent. 
The savages of this country in no instance availed themselves of animal 
labor. They were not in fact " lords of the creation." The Tartar follows 
his prey upon the horse he has reared. The Arab has rendered the 
,camel docile. The Laplander has made the reindeer subservient to his 
will. The people of Kamptschatka have trained their dogs to labor — 
and the native of Hindostan has brought the half- reasoning elephant to his 
aid ; but the American savage performs whatever he undertakes, merely by 
the strength of his own native arm. He is not conscious of any superi- 
ority he possesses over brutes. He considers himself their enemy, not 
their superior. He knows how to waste and to destroy, but not how to 
multiply or to govern them. 

To form an opinion of the North American Indian, as he existed when 
he was lord of this vast Continent, predicated upon what most of us have 
seen in the miserable hordes which at the present day infest our borders, 
and hang on the skirts of civilization, would be doing them and our read- 
ers great injustice. It must be considered, that the savage has been ex- 
alted by some writers in the scale of existence above his merits ; that his 
state has sometimes been represented as one of perfect happiness. That 
he is the real "stoic of the woods " — " the man without a tear." Some 
of this is unquestionably true — most of it, however, is unquestionably 
false. That the present race are mere remnants of once powerful tribes, 
we can easily believe ; but that those tribes, when in " all their glory," 
were anything more than mere savages, gaining a precarious existence 
by wandering over the vast and boundless forests, the majestic rivers, and 
mighty prairies of this vast Continent, is not equally clear. That they 
possessed capacities which fitted them for their (then) state of existence ; 


that they were linked to their fellow-men in civilized life, by more of 
those sympathies and affections than are usually ascribed to them, is 
cheerfully admitted. Their wants, however, were few and easily supplied. 
In the early stages of society, the arts deemed necessary for comfort are 
so few, that each one is sufficiently master of them all, to gratify his lim- 
ited desires. To form his bow and point his arrow — to rear his hut, and 
hollow his canoe, is about the extent of man's early acquisitions, and this 
he does without calling to his aid any hand but his own. His labor, how. 
ever, progresses slowly — hence, " the work of an Indian " became, among 
the Spaniards, a phrase by which they described anything in the execu- 
tion of which much time had been employed, and much labor thrown 

The most simple operation was a work of great difficulty. To fell a 
tree with hatchets of stone, was the employment of a month. To form a 
canoe into shape and hollow it, was the work of years. Their operations 
in agriculture were equally defective. The clearing a small field for 
culture, required the efforts of a tribe ; and the labor of its cultivation 
was left to the women. 

Agriculture, when the strength of man is seconded by that of animals, 
and his power augmented by the use of instruments, is an undertaking of 
great labor among civilized nations. 

It ought not then to excite surprise, that a people destitute of both, 
should have made but little progress either in agriculture or the arts. 

In hunting and fishing, they excelled. In the latter, it is said, they 
became so expert in South America " as to infect the water with the 
juice of certain plants, by which the fish became so intoxicated, that they 
floated on the surface, and were taken by hand."* A bold and dextrous 
hunter ranked next in fame to a distinguished warrior. No device which 
the ingenuity of man ever discovered, for ensnaring and destroying wild 
beasts, escaped his attention. He discovered, as it were by instinct, the 
footsteps of animals, which escaped every eye but his own, and followed 
them with unerring certainty through pathless forests. When he attacked 
his game openly, his arrow seldom erred ; and when he attempted to cir- 
cumvent it by art, it was almost impossible to escape his toils. His skill 
has only been surpassed by " the hunters of Kentucky," w^ho, it is said, 
are disgraced by drawing blood in the killing of game ; perfection in the 
art among them consisting in shooting so near, as to stun and bring it to 
the earth without shedding its blood. 

Among several tribes their young men were not permitted to marry, 
until they had given such evidence of their skill in hunting, as to remove 
all doubts of their ability to support a family. Nations more civilized 
than they, might perhaps, in this particular, profit by their example. 

Having no legal tribunals to which parties could appeal for the redresa 
of injuries, revenge was of course intrusted to private hands. In case 

* Robertson's Histoiy of America. 


violence had been committed, or blood had been shed, the community did 
not assume the province either of inflicting, or moderating the punish- 
ment. It belonged to the family and friends of the person injured or 
slain, to avenge the wrong, or accept the reparation oifered by the ago-res- 
sor ; and as it was deemed pusillanimous to suffer an offender with impu- 
nity to escape, resentment was implacable. 

Having no ideas of separate property, avarice and many vices incident 
to man in a civilized state, were of course unknown. The relation be- 
tween debtor and creditor being unacknowledged, and their chiefs exerci- 
sing no criminal jurisdiction, the ties which bound the savage warrior 
and his clan together, were exceedingly feeble ; and without the aid of 
superstition, by whose fatal influence the human mind is frequently 
depressed, and its native vigor subdued, would scarcely have existed. 
Their ideas of separate property were imperfect, and still the rudest 
tribes were acquainted with the rights of each to its own domains. 
These were entirely exclusive, and their hunting-grounds, like European 
parks and forests, were guarded with the utmost care. Their boundaries, 
however, were uncertain. This led to frequent disputes, which termi- 
nated in bloodshed. Hence most of the Indian wars, which for centuries 
previous to its discovery, converted the whole of this Western Continent 
into one great charnel-house, and wrapt its forests and prairies in gloom. 
A community limited in number, and constituting, as in case of an Indian 
tribe one family, is more sensible of injury than a community of larger 
dimensions ; because the injury of one individual is an injury to the whole, 
and sentiments of vengeance, like the electric spark, are instantly diffused. 
As feeble societies enter the field in small parties only, each warrior is 
conscious of his own importance, and feels, that to his single arm is com- 
mitted a considerable portion of the public vengeance. War was there- 
fore prosecuted by them, Avith all the rancor of a private quarrel. One 
council-fire was sufficient for its discussion. Here all the warriors and 
sages assembled. Eloquence and superstition inflamed their minds. 
The orator awoke their martial ardor, and they were wrought up to a 
kind of religious desperation " by the visions of the prophet and the 

In going to war, they were never satisfied till they extirpated, in whole 
or in part, the objects of their vengeance. They sought not to conquer, 
but to destroy. Revenge was the first, and almost the only principle, 
which the savage instilled into the minds of his children. Under its 
baneful influence, he neither pitied nor forgave. When a chief wished 
to allure a band of warriors to his standard, his most persuasive topics 
were drawn from revenge, and at times it must be admitted, they were 
eloquent. Animated by such exhortations, the youth snatched their arms 
in a transport of fury — raised the war-whoop — mingled in the dance— 
and burned with impatience to " attack the foe." 

Sometimes, however, they were more deliberate, and then an Indian 
council was one of the most dignified bodies of men on earth. The 


elders assembled, and delivered their opinions in solemn speeches — 
weighed, with extreme caution, the nature of the enterprise, and balanced 
its beneficial or injurious tendencies with great sagacity. Their priests 
and soothsayers, in such cases, were consulted, and sometimes the 

If war was declared, they prepared for it deliberately. A leader of 
renown stepped forth, and offered to conduct the expedition, None but a 
successful warrior or a skilful hunter, applied for a command, and none 
were constrained to follow him. The resolution of the community 
imposed no obligation upon any member to participate in the war. , Each 
individual was master of his own conduct, and his engagement was 
entirely voluntary. They never took the field in numerous bodies, as it 
would I'equire more efforts, and greater industry, than usually exists 
among savages, to provide for their subsistence. Their armies were, 
therefore, encumbered neither with baggage nor military stores. When 
at a distance from the enemy, they dispersed themselves through the 
woods, and lived upon its game ; and as they approached the territories 
of a hostile tribe, they collected their troops and advanced with caution. 
Their most active hostilities were carried on by stratagem. To set on 
fire their enemies' huts at midnight, and to massacre men, women and 
children, as they fled naked and defenceless from the flames, constituted 
their pride and glory. No applause was attached to force. To surprise 
and to destroy, was the greatest merit of a commander, and the highest 
pride of his followers. They traced the footsteps of an enemy with won- 
derful accuracy through pathless forests — laid in ambush from day to 
day — and rushed upon their foes when the latter were most secure, and 
least prepared for resistance. They concealed their approach — crept 
frequently on their hands and feet through the woods, and to avoid 
detectHn, painted their skins of the color of withered leaves. With them 
it was considered folly to meet an enemy on his guard, or give him battle 
in open day. The most distinguished success was a disgrace, if purchased 
with considerable loss ; and to fall in battle, instead of being glorious, as 
among civilized nations, subjected the memory of a warrior to the imputa- 
tion of rashness. This has frequently been imputed to cowardice. When, 
however, we consider the fact, now conceded, that at times they made 
extraordinary efforts — defended thennselves often with great resolution — at- 
tacked their enemies with daring courage, and rose superior to a sense 
of danger or fear of death, we are compelled to admit that their caution 
originated from other and different motives. The number in each tribe 
was so small, and the difficulty of raising new members so great, that 
the life of an individual was exceedingly precious, and the preservation 
of it, a consideration of importance in their policy. 

Although they discovered great sagacity, as well in concealing their, 
own motions as in discovering those of an enemy ; when they entered the 
field in large parties, those precautions essential to their security, were 
seldom observed. Unaccustomed to subordination, unable or unwilling 


to act in concert, such was their impatience under restraint', and sue-': 
their caprice and presumption, that they seldom conformed to the counsels 
or directions of their leaders ; never stationed sentinels around their camp, 
and after marching hundreds of miles to surprise an enemy, were them- 
selves often surprised and cut off in a profound sleep, as if they were not 
within the reach of danger. 

When the battle had been fought, and a victory won, the warriors' re- 
turn was preceded by messengers, to announce the result — and the 
prisoners began to feel the wretchedness of their condition. The first 
thing to be done was to decide the captives' fate ; and a barbarous triumph 
accompanied or followed the decision. Savages, however, are neither 
singular nor alone in this respect. Such exhibitions were frequent in 
Ancient Rome. Prisoners were there sold in market, after being exhib- 
ited through the streets. The purchaser was vested with the issues 
of life and death. They were compelled to fight with wild beasts, to 
make sport for a Roman populace, and with each other as gladiators, for 
the amusement of Roman matrons. Well might an English monarch, 
thus exhibited as a spectacle, wonder, that a people possessing so much 
splendor at home, should envy him a humble cottage in Britain. 

In deciding the fate of prisoners, the old men — the aged chiefs, and 
sometimes the Avomen, had a voice. Some wei'e destined to torture — 
others to satiate the vengeance of their conquerors, and some to replace 
those who had fallen in battle. Those reserved for the milder fate, 
were taken to their cabins, received at the doors with cordiality by the 
women, and their sufferings ended. They were thenceforward adopted 
into the family — assumed its name ; were enrolled among the tribe, 
sometimes became "its chiefs, and were treated with all the tenderness 
due to a father, a brother, a husband, or friend. 

So long as their fate was undetermined, the prisoners seemed uncon- 
cerned — ate, drank, and slept, as if no danger was impending. And 
when the fatal sentence was announced, they received it with unaltered 
looks, and prepared to suffer like men. 

Their conquerors then assembled, as at a solemn festival, in order to 
put the endurance of the captive to its utmost proof. A scene followed, 
the bare description of which fills every heart with horror. The pris- 
oner was bound to a stake — every species of torture was applied that in- 
genuity could devise, and by avoiding the vital parts, this scene of an- 
guish was frequently prolonged for several days. In spite, however, of 
all his sufferings, the victim chanted his own death-song — boasted of his 
exploits — insulted his tormentors for their want of skill in avenging their 
relations — warned them of the horrors that awaited his agonies — excited 
their ferocity by reproaches, and rising at last superior to the white man, 
in his contempt of death under its cruellest inflictions, amid the protracted 
agonies of fire, " as the flames preyed on his vitals, and the flesh shrunk 
from the sinews," he repeated in emphatic tones his last song of triumph, 
breathing in every word the defiance of an unconquered heart, and died 
without a groan. 


Appalling as is the scene, England, " the land of scholars, and the 
nurse of arms" — civilized Spain, and refined and accomplished France, 
long after Columbus landed on our shores, presented for contemplation 
scenes accompanied with greater horrors. England, France and Spain, 
it is said, too, were enlightened from on high. In the latter, public sac- 
rifices, called the Auto de Fe, or Act of Faith, have been exhibited re. 
peatedly upon a stage, erected in the public market-place of the capital ; 
and kings, whose presence in other cases was a harbinger of mercy, 
have sometimes assisted, seated lower than the inquisitors, and viewed, 
with apparent transport, their subjects writhing in agony, and expiring 
by slow and lingering torments. A monarch of France. (Charles IX.) 
on St. Bartholomew's eve, in 1572, accompanied by his mother, viewed 
from a window the massacre of his most gallant nobles, and incited the 
fury of the Catholics, by firing himself upon the Protestants, and crying, 
" kill ! kill !" and solemn thanks were afterward returned to the God of 
mercy, by the professed followers of a meek and lowly Jesus, to com- 
memorate the sacrifice. In England, many a pious martyr has perished 
at the stake, without seeking by recantation to escape the flames. The 
offer of pardon did not induce a Hooper to waver in his faith : nor did 
the pains of a lingering death subdue his fortitude. He suffered by a 
slow and lingering fire, and died, says his biographer, " as quietly as a 
child in his bed." For him, the counsels of the Almighty had chosen 
a Saviour — for him, the laws of nature had been suspended. The 
heavens had opened — the earth had quaked — the sun had veiled its face, 
and Christ, his Redeemer, had died and risen. For him, prophets and 
apostles had revealed the oracles and the will of God. Viewing himself 
as an object of favor, and denying all merit of his own, he prostrated 
himself in dust and ashes before his Maker. He cherished hope, pro- 
fessed faith, and as he walked the earth, his heart was in the skies.* 
Though spirits of darkness leagued together to tempt him from his al- 
legiance — Angels hovered around his path, to comfort his soul and 
beckon him to glory. He died as he had lived, not like an Indian war- 
rior, singing his own death-song, but like a saint in bliss, exclaiming 
amid the flames, as one arm dropped from his half-consumed body, and 
with the other, he beat his bosom, and bade his heart be still : '•' Oh, 
Death ! where is thy sting ? Oh, Grave ! where is thy victory ?" 

While the perpetrators of these horrid deeds assumed the character of 
Christians, and professed to be mild and merciful, "the wild man of the 
woods," at the sound of whose war-whoop the white man had frequently 
quailed ; whose very name was a talisman, by which the mother on the 
Rhine and the Danube once stilled her babe ; for acts less abhorrent to 
our nature, is branded " a savage." How truly says an eminent author, f 
" Are we the dupes of circumstances ?" How different is virtue, clothed 
in purple, from virtue naked, destitute, and perishing obscurely in a 
wilderness ! 

* Bancroft. t Washington Irving. 


The extremes of civilized and savage life, it is said, meet on a common 
level. A state of high refinement and extreme barbarism, we are told, 
engender similar vices without their corresponding virtues. The Amer- 
ican savage is strongly addicted to games of chance, and so is the refined, 
the accomplished, and extremely civilized man. The former, animated 
with but few desires — indifferent on other occasions, to everything around 
him — cold, phlegmatic and silent ; as soon as he embarks in play, be- 
comes noisy, rapacious, impatient, and almost frantic with eagerness. 
His furs — his domestic utensils — his clothes — his arms— and indeed every- 
thing which he possesses, are at once staked upon its issue ; and when all 
is lost, high as his sense of independence is, in a wild emotion of despair 
or hope, he risks his very liberty on a single cast. The same is said 
of the Tartar, the Arab of the desert, and the Negro. 

Gambling, without doubt, is natural to every one — however elevated in 
rank, advanced in years, or blessed by fortune — unaccustomed to the 
regular pursuits of industry. The man of wealth or leisure, independ- 
ent of labor, and the savage, who does not feel its necessity, alike un- 
occupied, seek with eagerness any and every species of excitement. 
Hence, not unfrequently fashionable vices are, by the civilized, the sav- 
age, and the negro, taught and practiced in common. And hence, too, 
the proverb, that Satan, when he finds a man, or woman either, without 
occupation, is pretty sure to give them employment. 

From causes similar to those which render him fond of play, the sav- 
age, like his brother in the front ranks of civilized life, is addicted to 
drunkenness. The discovery of intoxicating liquors has, in every age^ 
and almost every nation, excited, if not the first, the most extraordinary 
efforts of human genius ; and no nation is so destitute of invention as to 
have failed in its fatal research. The most barbarous tribes in North 
America, at an early day, unfortunately attained the art ; and those so 
deficient in knowledge as to be unacquainted with the method of giving 
it an inebriating quality, accomplished the same ends by different means. 
The people of California, used for this purpose the smoke of tobacco, 
drawn up with a certain instrument into the nostrils, the fumes of which, 
ascending to the brain, accomplished those objects the drunkard so 
ardently desires. Others possessed the art of extracting liquor from the 
maize, or the manioc root, which constituted their principal beverage. 

Among civilized nations, where a succession of business or pleasure 
keeps the mind entirely occupied, the desire for intoxicating liquor is 
regulated, in some measure, by climate, and increases or diminishes ac- 
cording to circumstances. In temperate regions artificial stimulus is not 
required. In colder climates, the human system, more robust and slug- 
gish, stands more in need of artificial excitement ; but among savages, the 
desire of something that is of power to intoxicate, is in every situation 
the same. Engaged in hunting or war, the powers of his nature are 
roused to their utmost vigor. The scenes emanating from thence are 
succeeded by intervals of repose, and the warrior, meeting with nothing 


of sufficient dignity or importance to attract liis attention, sinks into a 
kind of stupor, amounting almost to insensibility. The posture of his 
body is an emblem of his mind. In one climate he cowers over a fire ia 
his wretched cabin, and in another he dozes away his time under the 
shade, in a state of joyless inactivity ; and as intoxicating liquors awaken 
him from this torpid state, his passion for them is excessive. Whatever 
may be the occasion or pretext for assembling, a convivial meeting of 
savages terminates, of course, in a debauch, and continues while a drop 
of liquor remains. Persons of the greatest eminence, the most distin- 
guished warriors, and chiefs most renowned for their wisdom, sink to a 
level with the meanest and most obscure. Their eagerness for present 
enjoyment, renders them blind to its consequences ; and their passions, 
naturally strong, heightened and inflamed by intoxicating liquors, lead 
them into enormous excesses. Hence, their festivities seldonl terminate 
without violence or bloodshed. . 

The women are not allowed to participate in these excesses. Their 
province is to prepare the liquor, and to take care of their husbands and 
friends while under its influence ; and it is not uncommon for the former 
to conceal their knives, their hatchets, and other instruments of violence, 
in order to avert the consequences. Alexander, in a fit of drunkenness, 
it is said, slew his friend. The savage sometimes does the like in imita- 
tion of his example. 

Dancing is also a favorite amusement in savage, as well as in civilized 
life. Having nothing to occupy his time, and languishing, as he does, in. 
a state of indolence, the savage rejoices in a pastime which awakens 
him to existence, and calls the active powers of his nature into exercise. 

If war is to be declared, it is by a dance, expressive of the resentment 
he feels, and the vengeance he meditates. If the wrath of an offended 
God is to be appeased, or his beneficence to be celebrated — if the birth 
of a child, or the death of a friend, calls forth his joy or his sorrow, he 
has his appropriate dance, with sentiments. adapted to each. If a person 
is sick, a dance is prescribed as the means of restoring him to health ; 
and if he cannot endure its fatigue, the physician or conjurer performs 
it in his name. 

The music by which these dances are regulated is simple and monot- 
onous, yet the dances themselves are expi-essive and animated. Among 
them the war-dance stands preeminent. It is the representation of a 
whole campaign. The wai-rior's departure from his native village — his 
march into the enemy's country — the caution with which he encamps — 
the address with which he stations some of his party in ambush — his 
manner of surprising the enemy — the noise and ferocity of the combat — 
the scalping of those who are slain — the seizure of prisoners — the con- 
queror's return, and the torture of his victims, are all successively exhibited. 
The performer enters with such enthusiastic ardor into its several parts — 
his gestures, his countenance, and his voice, are so wild and so well 


adapted to the occasion, that a person unaccustomed to see it can hardly 
realize therein a mimic scene, or view it without fear and terror.* 

In his social relations, the American savage presents nothing worthy of 
admiration. Whether we regard his deportment, in respect to his supe- 
riors, his inferiors, or equals, we recognize the same character ; and trace 
the operations of a mind intent on its own gratifications, regulated by its 
own caprices, without regard to the sentiments and feelings of those 
around him. In civilized life, those persons who have but few objects on 
which their minds incessantly dwell, are sometimes remarkable for the 
low artifice by which they mature their little projects, mistaken by some 
for wisdom. With savages, whose views are more limited, and whose 
attention is equally persevering, these circumstances operate with similar, 
effect, and the savage thus acquires a kind of disingenuous subtlety, which 
is apparent in all he does. War and the chase being the main purpose 
of his existence, in both of which he trusts for success principally to 
stratagem ; this subtlety is fostered, and thus ripens into a habit. Hence 
the cunning of an Indian is proverbial. 

One of the strangest, and perhaps the most interesting feature in his 
character, is a sense of personal independence. He forms his resolutions 
alone, without consulting his nearest friends. Feeling but little depend- 
ence on others, he views them with careless indifference. He pursues 
his own course, and indulges his own fancy, without inquiring whether 
his acts are agreeable or offensive ; and his mind is scarcely susceptible 
of gentle, delicate, or tender emotions. Hence, in discharging the several 
duties of a husband, a father, son, or brother, he is careless and indiffer- 
ent. No look of sympathy ever beams from his eye-^no soothing ex- 
pressions escape his lips — no officious services contribute, on his part, to 
alleviate the distress, soften the woes, or meliorate the condition of human 
existence. In every situation, with but few exceptions, he is the same 
hard-hearted, taciturn, insensible being. 

Regarding woman as a slave, he considers it beneath his dignity to 
address her with kindness, or even to adorn his person to make himself 
acceptable. 'T is only when he enters the councils of his nation, or takes 
the field against his enemies, that he puts on his choicest ornaments and 
decks his person with the nicest care. His habitation is intended mei'ely 
for a shelter, with no view to elegance, and less attention to convenience. 
The door is so low, that it is necessary to bend or to creep, in order to ob- 
tain admission. It has no windows, and but one large hole in the middle 
of the roof, to admit light and carry off the smoke. The fire is built in 
the centre, and its inmates, without regard to age, sex, or condition, lay 
in a circle around it. The bark canoe is the only master-piece of art. 
With this he navigates the stormy lakes, ascends the rapid stream, tempts 
its floods, crosses the portage, and descends the cataracts. 

To despise and degrade the female sex, is the character of the savage 

* Charlevoix. 


in every part of the globe. Exulting in superior strength and courage, 
the chief marks of preeminence among unpolished nations, he treats wo- 
man as his inferior. Marriage itself, instead of being the union of affec- 
tion and interest between equals, is the unnatural alliance of a master 
and his slave. In barbarous nations, and among rude and uncivilized 
people, the functions of domestic economy fall usually to the woman's 
share ; but among savages, her condition is so grievous and her depression 
so complete, that servitude is a name too mild to describe her wretched 
condition. A wife is no better than a beast of burden. While the husband 
loiters out the day in sloth, or spends it in amusement, the wife is condemned 
to incessant toil. Tasks are imposed upon her whhout pity, and received 
without gratitude. Polygamy being tolerated, no affection, or but little, 
can exist among them. The wife is taught to regard her husband as a 
superior, and frequently is not permitted to eat in his presence. She 
cultivates the earth, does all the menial labor, and carries all the bur- 
dens ; while her husband, with his arms only decked in his best apparel, 
stalks on before. 'Tis civilization and Christianity that exalt the female 
to her appropriate sphere ; annihilate them, and woman is the object of 
sensuality, or a slave. 

The religious tenets, rites, and ceremonies, of the American savage, 
for a long time have been a subject of interest, and, are now but imper- 
fectly understood. The difficulties that attend his progress through life 
are so numerous, and man in an uncivilized state is so frequently in situ- 
ations of great perplexity, that his mind, conscious of its weakness, has 
recourse to other guidance and protection than what is human. Over- 
whelmed with calamities that oppress him, and exposed to dangers which 
he cannot repel, the savage has no reliance on himself. He feels his 
own impotence, and sees no prospect of being extricated other than by an 
unseen arm. Hence, in all barbarous nations, the first rites which bear 
any resemblance to religion have reference to evils which men suffer, or 
dread. The natives of this country had their good and evil spirits. Their 
homage, however, was principally paid to the latter. Persuaded that the 
good deities, prompted by the beneficence of their nature, would bestow 
every blessing in their power, without solicitation or acknowledgment, 
their only anxiety was to soothe and deprecate the wrath of those whom 
they regarded as the enemies of human kind. His superstition is gene- 
rally the offspring of fear ; its effects are everywhere the same, and its 
efforts usually employed, not to solicit blessings, but to avert calamities. 
A portion of the North American Indians had a more just conception 
of the Supreme Being. They denominated him the Great Spirit. They 
had, however, no established form of worship — no temples — no ministers 
consecrated to his service. 

Among the Natchez and the natives of South America, the sun was the 
chief object of worship. Temples were erected with considerable mag- 
nificence, decorated with some ornaments, and dedicated to its service. 
A perpetual fire, the purest emblem of divinity, was there preserved, and 


ministers appointed to watch and feed the sacred flame. The first duty 
of the great chief of the nation every morning, was an act of obeisance to 
the sun. This was the most refined species of superstition known or 
practiced; and probably the most natural. It corresponded in almost 
every particular with that of the Persians, the most desirable, it is usually 
conceded, of any people destitute of revelation. 

The human mind, when least improved and invigorated by culture, 
shrinks from the thought of annihilation, and looks forvv^ard with hope and 
expectation to a future existence. This sentiment, resulting from a secret 
consciousness of its own dignity — from an instinctive longing after im- 
mortality, is apparently universal, and may, perhaps, be deemed natural. 

Upon this are founded the most exalted hopes of man, in his highest 
state of improvement ; nor has nature withheld from this soothing consola- 
tion in that early and rude period of its progress, the most uncivilized of 
the American tribes. Few or none, it is believed, regard death as the 
extinction of being. All entertain hopes of a future and more blessed 
state of existence, when they shall be exempt tVom the calamities which 
embitter life in its present condition. This the^/ conceive to be a delight- 
ful country, blessed with perpetual spring; whose forests abound with 
game — whose rivers swarm with fish; where famine is never felt, and 
plenty, without laboi', ever reigns. 

The views of an American savage are so beautifully expressed by Pope, 
in his Essay on Man, and are so true to nature, that I cannot resist the 
temptation of inserting them here. 

Lo ! the poor Indian, whose untutored mind ■-' ' . ; ,) 

Sees God in clouds, or hears him ill the wind, . '■ ' -. • ■ ". ''■ ' 

His soul proud science never taught to stray ■.-.'■. ■ ' • 

Far as the solar walk or milky way. ,. '; .' . 

Ye.t, simple nature to his hope has given - '"'■.... 

Beyond the cloud-topp'd hill, a humbler heaven ; '.''.;/ 

Some safer world, in depths of woods embraced, ' ■'• . •' - 

Some happier island in the watery waste, . . - . . ■ 

\Vhere slaves once more their native land behold, - ■■•■ . \ ■■•-. 

No fiends tonnent, nor Christians thirst for gold. ', , ■ . , 

To be content 's his natural desire, ' • ' '; 

He aslts no angel's wing, no seraph's fire ; , '.■ 

But thinks, admitted to that equal sky, • ■ •" . '■'" 

His faithml dog shall bear him company. ' ' ■ 

As men, in forming their first impressions concerning .the invisible 
world, suppose they shall feel the same desires, and be engaged in the 
same occupation as here, they naturally ascribe eminence and distinction 
in that state to the same qualities and talents which are objects of esteem 
in this. Hence, the American savage allots the highest place in the land 
of spirits to the skilful hunter, the adventurous warrior, and to such as 
have tortured the greatest number of victims. And, as they imagine de- 
parted spirits besin their career anew in the world to which they are 



hastening, in order that their friends may not enter upon it defenceless 
and unprovided, they bury with their bodies bows and arrows, and other 
weapons used in hunting and war. They deposite, also, in their tombs, 
the skins or stuffs of which they make their garments, Indian-corn, veni- 
son, domestic utensils, and whatever is considered necessary in their sim- 
ple mode of life. 

In some provinces, when a chief, or cacique, dies, his wives and slaves 
are put to death, in order that he may appear in another world with the 
same dignity as here, and be waited upon by the same attendants. 

All nations, from the most refined to the most barbarous, it is believed, 
have their prophets, their soothsayers, their augurs, and their magicians. 
Even Cicero sought and obtained at Rome the office of augur. 

Astonished with occurrences of which it is unable to comprehend the 
cause— ^alarmed at events of which it cannot discover the issue or the 
consequences, the human mind has recourse to other means of discovering 
them than the exercise of its own sagacity. Hence, superstition becomes 
a regular system, and divination a religious act. Priests, as the minis- 
ters of Heaven, pretend to deliver its oracles. Among savage nations 
they are the soothsayers, augurs, and magicians, who possess the sacred 
art of disclosing to man what is concealed from other eyes. 

Among such uncultivated nations, a curiosity to discover what is fu- 
ture and unknoAvn, is cherished also by a different principle, and derives 
strength from another alliance. Diseases, among savages, are few and 
violent. Impatience under what they suffer, and their solicitude for the 
recovery of health, inspires them with extraordinary reverence for such 
as pretend to understand the nature of maladies. These ignorant pre- 
tenders, in most cases, are strangers to the human frame, and unacquaint- 
ed with the cause or cure of disease ; they resort, therefore, to superstition 
for aid, which, mingled with some portion of craft, supplies what is want- 
ing in science. The credulity, and love of the marvellous, natural to 
uninformed men, favors the deception, and hence the success of impostors. 
Among savages, their first physicians are a kind of augur, or wizard, 
who boasts of his knowledge, and pretends to discern the future. Super- 
stition in its earliest form, we have observed, originated from a desire to 
be delivered from present distress, and not from the evils which await us 
in a future world ; it would, therefore, seem that superstition originally 
was grafted on medicine, and not on religion. The conjuror, the sor- 
cerer, or the prophet — which means the same thing — thus becomes an 
important personage. Long before man had acquired a knowledge of 
Deity that inspired him with reverence, we observe him stretching out a 
presumptuous hand, to draw aside the veil with which Providence kindly 
conceals its purposes from our view. 

To discern and to worship a superintending power, is an evidence of 
the maturity of man's understanding ; a vain, foolish, inconsiderate desire 
to prv into futurity, is the error of its infancy, and a proof of its weak- 
ness. From this weakness proceeds the faith of savages in dreams and 


omens ; and the same remark will apply with equal force to man pre- 
tending to be civilized. 

" Eloquence in council, and bravery in war," for more than two cen- 
turies have been attributed to the savage, and the inquiry has scarcely 
been made, " whether these things are so." 

Of the latter we have spoken already, and said as much, perhaps, as 
the occasion lequires. Montesquieu very justly remarks, that fear is the 
first law of our nature. Courage and bravery cannot, then, be instinc- 
tive ; but, like other human acquisitions, depend for their existence upon 
circumstances. The savage warrior may or may not be brave ; that he 
is 30, at times, all admit ; that he is also, at other times, a great coward, 
is equally true ; and, upon the whole, that he is less brave or courageous 
than the regular soldier, bred to arms in the ranks of civilized life, is too 
apparent to require an argument. 

In relation to Indian eloquence, a diversity of opinion must and will, 
for a long time, exist among those whose opportunities enable them to 
decide correctly, and whose judgment is not perverted by the force of 
that current, which has so long and so uniformly flowed in a particular 
channel. Travellers, in the early settlement of this country, with a 
view to magnify their own exploits, indulged themselves in great latitude 
of expression, when speaking of the eloquence and bravery of savage 
warriors. Their reports were published and republished, until a chan- 
nel was formed in the public mind, and the Indian was thus exalted 
'•'above all Grecian, above all Roman fame." 

Mr. Jefferson assisted, many years ago, in giving currency to this 
opinion, by publishing a speech said to have been written by the cele- 
brated Logan, a chief of the six nations, to Lord Dunmore, Governor of 
Virginia. Had such a speech been delivered as is written down for him 
by his friends in civilized life, it would have tended, in a great measure, 
to confirm the opinion so often expressed, in relation to Indian eloquence. 
Considering it, however, as the handy work of others, and in part of Mr. 
Jefferson, whose pen, like the touch of Midas, converted everything, not 
into gold, but into eloquence ; or, as one of those celebrated speeches put 
into the mouth of some distinguished warrior of antiquity, by Livy or 
Tacitus, it loses half its charms. 

The speech above alluded to, unlike any Indian speech ever in fact 
delivered, we insert : 

'•' I appeal to any white man to say, if he ever entered Logan's cabin 
hungry, and he gave him no meat — if he ever came cold and naked, and 
he clothed him not ? During the last long and bloody war, Logan re- 
mained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for 
the whites, that my countrymen pointed as they passed, and said ' Logan 
is the friend of white men.' I had even thought to have lived with you, 
but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in cold 
blood, and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not sparing 
even mv women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the 



veins of any living creature. This called on me for revenge: I have 
sought it — ! have killed many — I have fully glutted my veno-eance. 
For my country. I rejoice at the beams of peace; but do not harbor a 
tliought that mine is the joy of fear — Logan never felt fear. He will not 
turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for Logan ? 
Not one." 

The same ideas were put into verse by Campbell, in his Gertrude of 
Wyoming, and may, perhaps,, with the same propriety, be imputed to 
Logan : 

" He left of all ray tribe 
Nor mrai, nor child,, nor thing of li\-ing birth ; 
. , . No, not the dog that watched my household hearth 

' ■ ■ Escaped that night of blood,, upon our plains. 

All perished. I alone am left on earth ; 
. '. ■ To whom nor relative nor blood remains — 

No, not a kindred drop that runs in human vems." 

Erskine, the celebrated English barrister, afterward chancellor, has 
also contributed much to foster this delusion. Upon the trial of Stock- 
dale, in the court of king's bench, for a libel growing out of the impeach- 
ment of Warren Ha.stings, when speaking of the British conduct in Lidia, 
and of their efforts to support an authority '■' which Heaven never gave," 
remarks : '-I have not been considering this subject through the cold 
medium of books, but have been speaking of man and his nature, and of 
human dominion, from what I have seen of them myself, among reluctant 
nations submitting to our authority. I know what they feel, and how 
such feelings can alone be repressed. I have heard them, in my youth, 
from a naked savage, in the indignant character of a prince surrounded 
by his subjects, addressing the governor of a British colony, holding a 
bundle of sticks in his hand, as the notes of his unlettered eloquence. 
' Who is it,' said the jealous ruler over the desert, encroached upon by 
the restless foot of English adventure — ' who is it that caused this, 
river to rise in the high mountains, and to empty itself into the ocean ? 
Who is it that causes to blow the loud winds of winter, and that calms 
them again in the summer ? Who is it that rears up the shade of these 
lofty forests, and blasts them with the quick lightning at his pleasure ? 
The same Being that gave to you a country on the other side of the waters, 
and gave curs to us : and by this title we will defend them !' said the 
warrior, throwing down his tomahawk upon the ground, and raising the 
war-sound of his nation. These are the feelings of subjugated men all 
round the globe ; and depend upon it, nothing but fear will control when 
it is in vain to look for affection." 

We have quoted the v.hole passage, because it purports not only to 
contain a speech, but exhibits also the action of a savage warrior on the 
occasion alluded to. It will be recollected, however, that the above are 
mere fancy pieces, emanating from the fertile imagination of Mr. Jeffer- 
son, and Mr. Erskine, and not from the brain of those distinguished per- 


sonages who have thus, unintentionally at least on their part, been 

Some speeches of Pontiac, a celebrated Ottowa chief, who at the close 
of the " Pontiac war" abandoned his former residence near Detroit, and 
came to Chicago, from whence he went down the Illinois river and was 
assassinated at an Indian council, by one of the Peoria ti'ibe, are referred 
to as specimens of native eloquence ; as also some of the Little Turtle's, 
v.'ho fought and was defeated by General Wayne at the jMaumie, and of 
Tecumseh, who speaks of the battle of Tippecanoe as " the unfortunate 
transaction that took place between the white people, and a few of his 
young men ;" and of Weatherford, who was defeated by General Jack- 
son ; and of Red Jacket and a host of others, left " alone in their glory." 
No speech of Philip of Pokanoket is preserved. His eloquence consisted 
principally in action — and as that is said to be the first, and the second, 
and the third requisite of an orator, it m.ust be conceded that he was elo- 
quent, if his character in tha*^ respect is to be tested by the ancient rule. 
Although his action was somewhat different from the action so much ad- 
mired in the orators of Greece and Rome, it was not less efiective. Had 
Philip's return from the massacre of some New-England settlement, been 
emblazoned on the page of history, or had '• the wizard of the north" 
told his story in poetic language, he would unquestionably have said : 

•' Proudly our pibroch lias thrilled in Glen Fniin, ^ - 

And Bannochar's groans to our slogan replied ; • ' . ' >- 

Glen Lus and Los Dhu they are smoking in ruin^ _ ■,.■■■ : 

And the best of Loch Lomond lie dead on her side." 

It was the misfortune, however, of Philip, as well as of other savage 
warriors, to have been painted by - the man," and not by '•' the lion," 
or their respective positions miglit have been reversed. Instead of the 
lion being prostrated on the earth, and the man standing over him, the 
lion might have been uppermost. 

When Tecumseh, boiling with rage, and driven to despair — and fear 
and hope were struggling for mastery in his lacerated bosom ; and pride 
and obstinacy, ambition and revenge, were roused to the highest pitch of 
excitement, exclaims, in the language of his biographer : " Let them 
come then. I hear them — I see them in the south and in the east, like 
the summer leaves rolling and rustling in the breeze — it is well. Shall 
Tecumseh tremble ? Shall they say that he hated the white men, and 
feared them ? No I The mountains and plains which the Great Spirit 
gave, are behind and around me. I too have my warriors, and here — 
where we were born and where we will die — on the Sciota and the Wa- 
bash — on the broad waters of the north, my voice shall be heard !" we 
cannot but recognize the workings of a master-spirit, and in the language 
of Mr. Jefferson, and Gov. Clinton afterward when speaking of Logan, 
we may challenge the whole of Europe to produce a paragraph from any 
of their orators, surpassing it either in eloquence or pathos. Indeed, such 


speeches were, to use an expression of Charlevoix, " Such as the Greeks 
admired in the barbarians ;" such as Queen Elizabeth delivered to her 
army, when the Spanish Armada was hovering on her coasts. She did 
not speak to them of their ease, and their commerce, of their wealth, 
and their safety. No ; she touched another chord, and spoke of their 
national honor — of their dignity as Englishmen — of " the proud scorn, 
that Parma or Spain, should dare to invade the borders of her realms." 
She breathed into them those grand and powerful sentiments, which ex- 
alted the vulgar into heroes. Just so when Maria Theresa of Austria, 
unfurled her banner to the breeze, and summoned her brave Hungarians 
to arms. 

That some passages in many of the Indian speeches as reported, are 
eloquent, all admit. To withhold from them our applause, would be to 
imitate the envious disposition of Goldsmith, the English poet, who, on 
seeing the performance of the automaton, and being unwilling to ac- 
knowledge any merit but his own, said peevishly, " he could do better 
himself." It will be recollected, however, that the occasion — the nature 
and character of the audience, and the end to be attained, all combine to 
make the orator. The speeches above alluded to, were delivered on 
occasions of great interest to the tribe or nation. The audience was com- 
posed of tude uncivilized warriors, smarting under a sense of injuries be- 
yond human endurance — and the end to be attained was the reparation 
of some acro-ravated wrong, or the infliction of some extraordinary ven- 
geance. Any unlettered man in civilized life, situated as these orators 
were, would, by relating his simple story, in the plainest possible man- 
ner, electrify a modern congregation ,: or as Cicero would say, '•' rouse 
the stones of Rome to mutiny." When Pierce was killed on board the 
Chesapeak, previous to the late war with England, and his corpse was 
exposed in the city of New- York upon the battery, it Avas with difficulty 
the American people were restrained from violence. Savage eloquence 
is always simple and figurative. It is the simplicity of the Scriptures 
that gives them such a charm, and renders them the most eloquent pro- 
ductions in our language. In 1386, England was nearly convulsed by 
the repetition of such poetry as this : 

" When Adam delved, and Eve span, 
Where was then the gentleman ?" 

Had not the great mass at that time been oppressed by England's haughty 
aristocracy — had not the insolence of office been too apparent, and the 
minions of power planted thorns and briers in their path ; Watt Tyler, 
at the head of an armed multitude, could never have marched to London 
broken into the Tower — murdered in cold blood the primate and chan- 
cellor, and other persons of distinction, and extorted from the king, 
(Richard II.) privileges (though reasonable) which had before been 
withheld. Nor could a Philip of Pokanoket, or a Pontiac, or a Tecum- 


seh, have roused distant and barbarous nations to arms by the powers of 
their eloquence, had not the savage mind previously been wrought upon 
by the wrongs of white men. 

Some of the best Indian speeches to which our attention has hitherto 
been directed, are those of Red-Jacket, a Seneca chief, delivered at Buf- 
falo, in New- York ; one in reply to a request made by the white people 
to purchase Indian lands — another in reply to a missionary from Massa- 
chusetts, who wished to introduce Christianity among his people. They 
evince all the cunning and sagacity of a savage, and breathe, at the same 
time, the spirit of a high-toned pagan. They may, therefore, upon the 
whole, be regarded as the finest specimens of Indian eloquence extant. 

There is something in savage eloquence always remarkable, and de- 
serving in many respects of admiration: It is strong, stern, sententious, 
pointed, and undisguised. It abounds with figures and graphic touches 
— imprinted by a single effort of memory or imagination, but answering 
all the purposes of detailed description, without its tediousness or its 

Of Tecumseh, it is said, that his appearance was always noble ; his 
form symmetrical — his carriage erect and lofty — his motions command- 
ing, and under the excitement of his favorite theme, (the uniting of the 
western tribes, and driving the Americans back to the Ohio,) he became 
a new being. The artifice of the politician — the diffidence of the stranger 
— the demure dignity of the warrior, were cast aside like a cloak. His 
fine countenance lightened up with a fiery and haughty pride — his frame 
swelled with emotion — every feature, and every gesture, had its meaning ; 
" and language, the irrepressible outbreakings of nature, flowed in a tor- 
rent of passion from the fountains of the soul." 

The same remarks will apply with equal force to other savage war- 
riors, who, on particular occasions, have developed extraordinary powers 
of intellect, which commanded for a time the admiration of the civilized, 
and the confidence and pride of the savage ; which were felt as well as 
feared, and will live in the pages of civilized history, after l^arbarous 
traditions shall have forgotten them, and the nations to which they be- 
longed shall cease to exist. It does not of course follow, because they 
were unsuccessful, that they were neither heroes nor patriots. Their 
influence was exerted over red men instead of white. They fought for 
wild lands, for liberty, and the graves of their fathers ; but failed not for 
want of courage, or of conduct, but because nature has ordained that the 
savage must retire before the civilized man. Their arms, in the early 
settlement of this country, (principally bows and arrows,) were no de- 
fence against weapons of steel. The desultory efforts of savage tribes, 
present no obstacles to the advance of disciplined armies ; and the exer- 
tions of rude barbarians, oppose no barrier to the progress of human arts. 

The Macedonian phalanx passed nearly unharmed through Persia's 
and India's ranks. The Roman legion scai'ce paused when the Gaul, 
the German, or the Briton, crossed its path. The armies of Montezuma 


interfered not with the march of Cortez, or the embattled hosts of Ata- 
hualpa, with the advance of Pizzaro. It was just so at the north, in Vir- 
ginia and Massachusetts, before the natives were supplied with arms, and 
it is so even now in India and China, where a regiment of British troops en- 
counters aiid defeats whole armies of barbarians, almost without a struggle. 
The inquiry is frequently made, why has not Christianity advanced 
with more rapid strides among this singular and extraordinary people ? 
or rather, v.-hy have the missionaries so often been repelled ? why driven 
from their borders ? We answer, because the conduct of v/hite men has 
not always furnished evidences of the sincerity of their professions. 

When Hatuey, a cazique of some distinction in Hispaniola, fled from 
thence to Cuba, and was taken prisoner by Velasquez, a companion of 
Columbus, he was sentenced to -the flames for taking up arms against his 
master, and in defence of his country ; and being fastened to the stake, a 
Franciscan friar labored to convert him. and among other things, prom- 
ised him admittance to the joys of heaven, if he would embrace the 
Christian faith. '•' Are there,"' said he, after a short pause, '■' any Spaniards 
in that region of bliss that you describe ?" - Yes," replied the monk ; 
"but only such as are wise and good." " The best of them," returned 
the indignant cazique, " have neither worth nor goodness. I will not go 
to a place where I shall meet with one of that accursed race." 

Manv affect to be surprised that the Indians are unsusceptible of civili- 
zation, or rather, that they refuse to adopt the habits and manners of 
white inen. Persons, however, entertaining this opinion, do not consider 
the nature of those difficulties that for a long time have prevented a re- 
sult so desirable. 

When the Spaniards discovered the American Continent, and the Eng- 
lish first landed on the coast of Virginia — when Plymouth rock first at- 
tracted the Pilgrims thither, and the Dutch arrived in the city of New. 
York ; the French in Canada, and Penn, with his inoffensive brethren, 
located themselves on the Delaware, they were all received with hospi- 
tality and kindness. No exceptions whatever exist on record. The 
Europeans were, for many years, regarded by the savages as superior 
beings. The vast ships in which they had crossed the " big waters " — 
their dress, their arms, and especially their artillery, which, in savage 
eyes, resembled the bolt or the rapid lightning of Heaven, inspired for a 
long time both awe and wonder. 

The first negotiations in traffic were, in all probability, fairly con- 
ducted — the Indian bought what he wanted, and sold out of his scanty 
stores whatever he could spare — and although frequently cheated, the 
princinles of "'free trade" prevailed, and justice seems to have been 
taught and practiced. . Too much freedom, however, bred disturbance ; 
and when difficulties occurred, the civilized was sure to prevail over the 
savage man. As mind, in every instance, governs matter, such results 
were unavoidable. The wound, however, rankled in the Indian's breast 
— and as there w-as no common tribunal to which they could appeal, re- 



course was had immediately to arms. Here, too, the civilized man pre- 
vailed, and " the Indians have since been driven from river to river, from 
forest to forest, and through a period of two hundred years rolled back, 
nation upon nation, till they have found themselves fugitives, vagrants, 
and strangers in their own country ; — and look forward to the certain 
period, when their descendants will be totally extinguished by wars — 
driven at the point of the bayonet into the Western Ocean, or reduced to 
a fate still more deplorable and horrid — the condition of slaves." 

Is it then at all singular, in the language of Mr. Wirt, that the Indians 
should be implacably vindictive against white men — that the rage of re- 
sentment should be handed down from generation to generation — that 
they should refuse to associate, and mix permanently with their unjust 
and cruel invaders— that, in the unabating spirit and frenzy of conscious 
impotence, they should wage an eternal war, as well as they are able — 
that they should triumph in the rare opportunity of revenge — that they 
should dance, sing, and rejoice, as the victim shrieks and faints amid the 
flames, where they fancy all the crimes of their oppressors are collected 
on his head, and the spirits of their forefathers smiling with ferocious 
delight on the proud and glorious spectacle, and feasting on the incense 
that arises from the burning blood of the white man ? 

When the savage mournfully extinguished his last fires, and viewed 
for the last time the hunting-grounds of his people, he fled like an angry 
tiger to a remoter forest — scowling at the victor, and watching his oppor- ■ 
tunity to renew the contest. His mode of warfare (already described,) 
was the indiscriminate massacre of men, women and children. When, 
therefore, the white man, after a temporary absence, returned and found 
his solitary cabin wrapped in flames — his wife and children gone, he 
knew not whither — 't was natural for him to collect his neighbors, to 
pursue the wretched fugitives, and if possible, to inflict upon them the 
severest vengeance. Hence, the hostility of the white and red man has 
been perpetuated from generation to generation; and hence, too, it is 
probable that the same hostility will continue, till one or the other shall 
cease to exist. 

The intercourse between them has not varied much in its character for 
the last two hundred years. In 1622, Canonicas, a Naraganset sachem, 
sent to the Plymouth Colony, in Massachusetts, a bunch of arrows wrap- 
ped up in the skin of a rattlesnake, as the token of his hostility. Gov- 
ernor Bradford returned the skin immediately, stufied with powder and 
shot. The savage quailed in an instant, wishing to be on terms of amity 
with a race whose weapons of war were so terrible ; and thus the con- 
troversy ended. 

In 1791, Washington, then President of the United States, in a familiar 
letter to Col. Humphreys, after alluding to the Indian war, then raging 
with violence on the borders of the Ohio, very justly remarks : " I must 
confess, I cannot see much prospect of living in tranquillity with these 
people, (the Indians,) so long as the spirit of land-jobbing prevails, and 
our frontier settlers consider it no crime to murder an Indian." 


Cruel and implacable as the savages of North America were, it would 
be doing them great injustice to say, that instances of extraordinary 
friendship, of fidelity, kindness and forbearance, were unknown. In- 
stances of this nature in our early history frequently occur, which ought 
to suffuse the cheek of civilization with crimson ; but we forbear. 

The American savage is, upon the whole, a perfect anomaly in the 
history of our race — his origin is unknown. His progress, thus far, has 
been attended by all the vicissitudes that accompany civilized, as well as 
barbarous nations ; and his course seems to have been marked out, by the 
hand of Providence, for an extraordinary end. 


Origin of the Indians — Egyptian Hieroglypliics — Tlie Rosetta Stone — Egyptian Pyra- 
mids — Dr. Robertson's Tiieory of American Colonization — Ancient Civilization — 
Solon — Opinions of the Aircients on the subject of a Western Contment — Theopom- 
pus — Hanno — Diodorus Siculus — Plato — Aristotle — Seneca — Pliny — Strabo — Cicero 
— Cotton Mather — Welch — America civiUzed before Greece or Rome — Its Monu- 
ments and Ruins evidence — Baron Humboldt — Stephens — Gatherwood and Norman 
— Ruins of Copan^Temple — Idols — Altars — Hieroglyphics — Quiriga — Palenque — 
Uxmal — Mounds — Mount Joliet — Canal across the Isthmus of Darien. 

The origin of the extraordinary people, whose character we have 
endeavored in the preceding chapter to elucidate, is involved, as already 
stated, in mystery. Some have supposed that the original inhabitants of 
this vast Continent were not the offspring of the same common parent, 
with the rest of mankind. Others have contended, that they are the 
remnant of some antediluvian race that escaped the deluge. Indeed, 
there is scarcely a nation on the globe, says Dr. Robertson, to which 
some antiquarian, in the extravagance of conjecture, has not ascribed the 
honor of peopling America. The Jews, the Canaanites, the Phoenicians, 
the Carthaginians, the Greeks, and the Scythians, are supposed by many 
at an early period to have emigrated to this western world. The Chinese, 
the Swedes, the Norwegians, the Welch, and the Spaniards, it is said also, 
have sent colonies thither at different periods, and on various occasions. 
Each have had their advocates, and their opinions predicated on no other 
foundation than a similarity of some casual customs — some supposed 
affinity of language, or some religious ceremonies common to each, have 
been urged with more zeal than knowledge, more pertinacity than learn- 
ing, and sometimes, it is presumed, with but little profit or advantage. 

The subject, however, is one of interest ; and fortunately for the pres- 
ent age, the recent discoveries in South America will, in a short time, 
put the question at rest for ever. 

" Egypt, for centuries," says Gliddon, " had been a sealed book, whose 
pages could not be opened, until Napoleon's thunderbolts had riven the 
clasps asunder." A French officer of engineers in August, 1799, in 
laying the foundation of Fort Julian, on the western bank of the Nile, 
between Rosetta and the sea, near the mouth of the river, discovered the 
fragment of a block of basalt, (since called the inestimable Rosetta 
Stone, now in the British Museum,) on which was written in three different 
languages, an account of the coronation of King Epiphanes, ' Son of the 



Sun, Ptolemy, ever living, beloved of Pthah,' which took place at Mem- 
phis in the month of March, one hundred and ninety-six years before the 
Christian era. Its length is about three feet, its breadth about two feet 
and live inches, and its thickness about ten or twelve inches. It bears 
three inscriptions : one of them in sacred characters, (that is, in hiero- 
glyphics.) one of them in the writing of the country, (that is, in the an- 
cient Egyptian or Coptic dialect,) and the other in ancient Greek — the 
latter purports to be a translation of the other two. 

'•' This fact being ascertained, its importance became apparent. The 
monumental legends of ancient Egypt, by aid of the key thus discovered, 
were at once laid open to common observation, and more, it is presumed, 
will shortly be inown by the American reader on the banks of the Mis- 
souri, the Illinois, or the Arkansas, of Egyptian history and its ancient 
inhabitants before the birth of Abraham, than is known at the present 
time by the inhabitant of London in regard to the English nation, ante- 
rior to the reign of Alfred — or by the Parisian, of French history previous 
to the time of Charlemagne. The era heretofore predicted, it would 
seem, therefore, is now approaching, when the origin and object of the 
Egyptian pyramids — the inscriptions on her obelisks and her temples, 
and the biography of her mummies, shall be apparent to all — when her 
papyri shall be unrolled, and their contents translated into every tongue, 
and the treasures of antiquity — the mysteries of ages, and the wisdom of 
Ham's posterity, be revealed in all their glory.'"'*' 

Should the American antiquarian be alike successful in deciphering 
the hieroglyphics which have recently been exhibited for our inspection 
in South America, the like results will probably follow, and the long 
agitated question, •' How was America peopled ?" be finally solved. 

In the meantime, a few moments devoted to this inquiry, cannot be 

Dr. Robertson, in giving his views upon the subject, lays it down as a 
certain principle, that America was not peopled by any nation of the 
ancient Continent, which had made considerable progress in civilization j 
because, - although the elegant and refined arts of life may decline or 
perish amid the violent shocks of those revolutions and disasters to which 
nations are exposed, the necessary arts of life, when once introduced 
among a people, are never lost." However specious the above reasoning 
may appear in theory, its truth is contradicted by the whole history of 

The ancient Egyptians Avere a polished people in the time of her Pha- 
raohs ; acquainted, not only with the elegant and refined arts of life, but 
with those of every day's use, which tend essentially to our convenience. 
Those arts have for centuries been lost to their descendants. The erec- 
tion of the vast pyramids and temples that border upon the Nile, required 
the use of tools and skill in the mechanic arts, unknown to the people that 

■ ;- I- • I » Gliddon's Egypt. 



now occupy its valley. The conquerors of ancient Rome obliterated, in 
many instances, every vestige of art, and the Arab of the desert, even at 
this day, erects his tent amid the ruins of ancient magnificence. 

The same elegant author further remarks, that America was not peo- 
pled by any colony from the southern nations of the ancient Continent, 
because none of the rude tribes settled in that part of the eastern hemi- 
sphere, can be supposed to have visited a country so remote. That they 
possessed neither enterprise nor ingenuity, nor power that would prompt 
them to undertake, or enable them to perform, so distant a voyage. 

In making the above remarks, the learned author seems to have for- 
gotten, that the northern Africans were a learned and polished people, 
when England was unknown ; that they were " dressed in purple and 
fine linen," when- our ancestors, clothed in skins, were almost vagrants 
upon the earth. That the Bishops of Alexandria and Carthage vied in 
splendor with the Bishop of Rome, and that Northern Africa, ere convic- 
tion of the truth of Mohammad's tenets flashed from the Mosleai's blade, 
was more fervent in its devotions than any part of Christendom. 

Before we call the attention of our readers to the evidence derived from 
ancient monuments, recently discovered in Copan and elsewhere in South 
America, appertaining to the long agitated question, whether America 
was known to the ancients, it may be well, perhaps, to inquire on what 
authority (if any) the assertion of that fact is predicated. 

The wisdom of the ancients, especially the Egyptians, we have no 
doubt, is frequently underrated. They must have been a learned and 
polished nation before Abraham's journey thither. Of this fact, their 
pyramids and their temples are conclusive evidence. Besides, Moses, we 
are told, (Acts vii. 22,) " was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyp- 
tians." Abraham went up out of Egypt, (Genesis xii. 2,) " rich in cat- 
tle, in silver, and in gold." Job (in chap. xix. 23,) exclaims : " Oh, 
that my words were written; oh, that they were printed in a book;" 
and again, (in chap. xxxi. 35.) " Oh, that one would hear me : behold, 
my desire is, .that the x\lmighty would answer me, and that my adversary 
had written a book." It would seem, then, that written chronicles, and 
even the sublimest poetry, were in common use among the Egyptians 
anterior to the age of Moses. The Hebrews had a book called the Wars 
of Jehovah, referred to in Numbers, (chap. xvi. 14,) as the book of the 
wars of the Lord. They had also national ballads, in a book entitled 
Sipher Hajasher, (see Joshua x. 13,) '-is it not written in the book of 
Jasher ?" A description of the ark of the Covenant, (in Exodus) of the 
tabernacle — of the holy garments for Aaron — of the breastplate, and the 
ephod — of the robe, and the broidered coat — of the mitre, and the gir- 
die — shows conclusively, that the Egyptians at an early day had made 
great progress in the arts. The same evidence is derived, also, from 
their monuments. More than a thousand years before the Pelasgian 
Greeks studded the isles and capes of the Archipelago with their forts 
and their temples, and fifteen centuries before Roman civilization first 


dawned upon Europe, '' the art of cutting granite with a copper chisel, 
and of giving elasticity to a copper sword — of making glass with the varie- 
gated hues of the rainbow — of moving single blocks of polished syenite, 
nine hundred tons in weight, for any distance by land or water — of build- 
ing arches, round and pointed, with masonic precision unsurpassed at 
the present day, antecedent by two thousand years to the Cloacum Mag- 
num of Rome — of sculpturing a Doric column a thousand years before the 
Dorians are known in history — of Frescoe painting fn imperishable colors, 
and of pi'actical knowledge in anatomy, astronomy, and mathematics, 
were taught and practiced in great perfection upon the Nile. 

'•' Every craftsman can now behold, in Egyptian monuments, the pro- 
gress of his art four thousand years ago ; and whether it be a wheel- 
wright building a chariot — a shoemaker drawing his twine — a leather- 
cutter using the self-same form of knife of old, as is considered the best 
form now — a white-smith using the identical form of blow-pipe, but lately 
recognized as the most efficient — the seal engraver, cutting in hierogly- 
phics, such names as Shoophoe, four thousand three hundred years ago — 
or even the poulterer, removing the pip from geese ; all these and many 
more astonishing evidences of Egyptian skill and culture, are now laid 
bare to common observation." 

Is it singular, then, that a people so learned and so wise, should have 
had some knowledge or information of the " Far West?" 

Two thousand years before Vasco de Gama doubled the Cape of Good 
Hope — Africa, we are told from unquestionable authority, was circum- 
navigated by order of Pharaoh Necho. Plato informs us that when Solon, 
the Athenian lawgiver, was receiving instruction in the sacerdotal col- 
leges of Egypt, (about five hundred and forty-nine years before Christ,) 
he was informed by " Sonchis, one of the priests, of the existence of the 
Atlantic isles, which, Sonchis said, were larger than Africa and Asia uni- 
ted." Europe, it will be recollected, was at that time too little known, 
or of too little consequence, to be spoken of. When Solon afterward was 
discoursino- with the Egyptian sages, of what had happened to the Greeks, 
one of the most venerable of the sacerdotal ancients exclaimed : " Oh ! 
Solon ! Solon ! you Greeks are always children, nor is there such a thing 
as an aged Grecian among you ; all your souls are juvenile, neither en- 
tertaining any ancient opinions derived from remote tradition, nor any 
discipline, hoary from its existence in former periods of time.". How 
natural then for Campbell, the English poet, to exclaim in his beautiful 
address to the Mummy in Belzoni's collection : 

" Antiquity appears to have begun 
Long after thy primeval race was run." 

Theopompus, a learned historian, cotemporary with Alexander the 
Great, in a book called the Thaumasia, gives a sort of dialogue between 
Midas, the Phrygian, and Selinus. The book itself is lost, but Strabo 


refers to it, and .-Elianus has given us the substance of the dialogue, as 
follows. After much conversation Selinus said to Midas, " that Europe, 
Asia, and Africa, were but islands, surrounded on all sides by the sea ; 
but that there was a Continent beyond that, which was of immense dimen- 
sions, even without limits, and that it was so luxuriant as to produce ani- 
mals of prodigious magnitude ; and men grew to double the height of 
themselves, and that they lived to a far greater age. That they have 
many great cities, and their laws and usages were different from ours. 
That in one city, there were more than a million of inhabitants ; that 
gold and silver were there in vast quantities." 

Hanno, a Carthaginian officer of great enterprise, about eight hundred 
years before the Christian era, and about fifty before Rome was founded, 
having sailed round and explored the coasts of Africa, set out from the 
Pillars of Hercules, now called the Straits of Gibraltar, and sailed west- 
ward for thirty days. On his return, as most travellers and navigators 
do, he wrote a book, which he entitled Periplus, giving an account of his 
voyages. Attempts have been made to prove this a spurious work ; but 
M. de Montesquieu, in his •• 1' Esprit de Loix," lib. xxi., chapter 8th, and 
M. de Bouganville in a dissertation, published torn, xxxi., of the " Memoires 
de 1' Academie des Incriptions," have established its authenticity by ar- 
guments which seem unanswerable. All the cii'cumstances contained in 
the abstract of his journal, concerning the appearance and state of the 
coasts of Africa, are confirmed and illustrated by a comparison with the 
accounts of modern navigators. And those circu^mstances which, from 
their seeming improbability, have been produced to invalidate the credi- 
bility of his relation, tend to confirm it. 

Diodorus Siculus, who lived about one hundred years before Chx'ist, 
says : " A.fter having passed the islands Avhich lie beyond the Herculean 
Straits, we will speak of those which lie much farther into the ocean : to- 
ward Africa, and to the west of it, is an immense island in the broad sea, ma- 
ny days' sail from Lybia. Its soil is very fertile, and its surface variegated 
with mountains and valleys. Its coasts are indented with many naviga- 
ble rivers, and its fields are well cultivated, and it has- delicious gardens, 
and various kinds of plants and trees." 

Plato, who lived about four hundred years before the Christian era, 
says : " In these first times, the Atlantic was a broad island, and there 
were extant most powerful beings upon it ; but that Atlantic island, by a 
flood and earthquake, was suddenly destroyed." 

Aristotle speaks of an island beyond the Straits of Gibraltar, as fol- 
lows : " Some say, that beyond the Pillars of Hercules, the Carthagini- 
ans have found a very fertile island, but without inhabitants ; full of for- 
ests, navigable rivers, and fruit in abundance. It is several days' voyao-e 
from the main land. Some Carthaginians, charmed by the fertility of the 
country, thought to marry and settle there ; but some say that the gov- 
ernment of Carthage forbade the settlement, upon pain of death, from the 
fear that it would increase in poAver, so as to deprive the mother country 


of her possessions there.'*' Had the latter part of this paragraph been 
uttered as a prediction, subsequent events, in North and South America, 
would have redeemed the author's character from the imputation of false 
prophecy. It reminds us of a beautiful passage in Cowper : 

" Oh ! could their ancient Incas rise again, 

How would they take up Israel's taunting strain ; 

Art thou, too, fallen? Iberia, do we see 

The robber and the murderer weak as we 1 

Thou that hath wasted earth, and dared despise 

Alike the wrath and mercy of the skies ; 

Thy pomp is in the grave — thy glory laid 

Low in the pits thy avarice has made. 

We come with joy from our eternal rest, 

To see the oppressor in his turn oppressed. 

Art thou the god ? the thunder of whose hand 
\ ' ' Rolled over all our desolated land ; 

'_ Shook principaUties and kingdoms down, 

. ■■ ' ■,'' ■' . And made the mountains tremble at thy frown? 
■ ,;';■■: ■'. ' The sword shall light upon thy boasted powers, 

And waste them all, as they have wasted ours. 

'Tis thus Onipotence his law fulfils. 

And vengeance executes what justice wills." 

Seneca, a cotemporary with our Savoiur, while on earth, who wrote 
poetry as well as prose, says in his Medea, canto in., verse 375, translated 
into English : " The time will come when the ocean will loosen the 
chains of nature, and we shall behold a vast country ; a new Tiphis shall 
discover new worlds ; Thule shall no longer be considered the last coun- 
try of the known world." On the other hand, Polybius, one of the best 
informed historians of antiquity, affirms, " That it was not known in his 
time whether Africa was a Continent stretching to the south, or whether it 
was encompa.'5sed by the sea." 

Plinv, the naturalist, asserts that there can be no communication be- 
tween the southern and northern temperate zones. 

Strabo seems not to have known anything, with certainty, concerning 
the form and state of the southern parts of Africa. And Ptolemy, the 
most learned of all the ancient geographers, was unacquainted with any 
part of Africa south of the equinoctial line. 

Cicero seems to have believed with Pliny, that no intercourse could 
exist between the northern and southern temperate zones. He introduces 
Africanus, thus addressing the younger Scipio : " You see this earth en- 
compassed, as it were, bound in by certain zones ; of which two, at the 
o-reatest distance from each other, and sustaining the opposite poles in the 
heavens, are frozen with perpetual cold ; the middle, and largest of all, 
is burnt with the heat of the sun. Two are habitable. The people in 
the southern one are antipodes to us, with whom we have no connection." 
Whatever may have been the opinion of Cicero, in relation to the torrid 
zone, (an opinion now conceded by all to be erroneous,) the above clearly 


shows what he thought of the spherical figure of the earth. Indeed, that 
doctrine was too well established by the Egyptians to admit of any doubt, 
(as appears from their monuments, and other evidences,) anterior not only 
to Columbus's voyage hither, but before the age of Abraham, the patri- 

Recent discoveries in the north having shown that Asia and America, 
at the west, aproximate near to each other, and Iceland and Greenland 
toward the east, several writers on the subject of American colonization, 
have thought it much easier to bring the original inhabitants of this 
country hither, across the ice, or in canoes, than by the southern route, 
through the Atlantic seas and islands ; and some of their number, Dr. 
Robertson in particular, rejoices in having thus solved with apparent ease 
a complicated question, that for a long time had puzzled their predeces- 

It would seem, however, from recent discoveries in Central America, 
that these gentlemen are not yet " out of the woods;" that they have 
raised the shout of victory before the battle has been fought, much more 
ere a victory has been won. 

In our eagerness to bring this question to a close, we forgot to mention 
the theory of a learned New-England divine, who wrote in the seventeenth 
century ; the Rev. Cotton Mather, of Massachusetts. He supposed the 
Indians were Europeans seduced here by the devil, to keep them out of 
the sound of the silver trumpets of the gospel, which at that time were 
shaking the papal throne to its foundation. It is impossible, however, to 
do justice to the learned doctor, without giving his own words: "But, as 
probably the devil, seducing the first inhabitants of America into it, there- 
in aimed at the leading them and their posterity out of the sound of the 
silver trumpets of the gospel, then to be heard through the Roman empire : 
if the devil had any expectation, that by peopling x\merica, he should 
utterly deprive any European of the two benefits, literature and religion, 
which dawned upon the miserable world, (one just before, the other just after 
the first famed navigation hither,) 'tis to be hoped he vvill be disappointed 
of that expectation.'.' And again: "The nations of the Continent now 
possessed by the New-Englanders, had been forlorn and wretched hea- 
then, ever since their first herding here ; and though we know not when. 
or how these Indians first became inhabitants of this mighty Continent, 
yet we may guess, that probably the devil decoyed these miserable salv- 
ages hither, in hopes that the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ would never 
come here to destroy or disturb his absolute empire over them. But our 
Elliot (a celebrated missionary to the Indians,) was on such ill terms 
with the devil, as to alarm him with the silver trumpets of Heaven, in 
his territories, and make some noble and zealous attempts toward ousting 
him of his ancient possessions here. There were, I think, twenty several 
nations (if I may call them so,) of Indians, upon the spot of ground which 
fell under the influence of the three united colonies, (Massachusetts, Con- 
necticut, and New-Haven,) and our Elliot was willing to rescue as many 

4< ... 


of them as he could, from that old usurping landlord of America, who is, 
by the wrath of God, the prince of this world." 

Having referred at considerable length to the sayings and doings of the 
ancients upon the subject of American colonization, it will, probably, be 
expected that we should say something in relation to the discoveries al- 
leged to have been made by the Norwegians and the Welch — of the 
exploits of Erick the Red, and of Madoc, in the tenth, eleventh, and 
twelfth centuries, and before the attention of Columbus was directed 
hither. There is, however, something so indefinite in their accounts, so 
unsatisfactory in their conclusions, that we have thought proper to pass 
them over in silence, or rather, to leave them for the consideration of 

It is not, we believe, pretended that discoveries or conquests were 
made by either, to which importance was attached, either at the time 
they were made, or afterward. They cannot, therefore, be a subject of 
profitable discussion. 

Strabo remarks, that the conquests of Alexander made known the East, 
those of the Romans made known the West, and those of Mithridates of 
Pontus, the North. 

Little, to be sure, was at that time said by either, of a Western Conti- 
nent, and less probably was known. 'Tis not, however, to be inferred 
from thence, that America was uncultivated, wild, or barbarous. The 
Greeks and Romans in their day, made, it is true, some considerable 
progress in the arts, and by trumpeting abroad their own fame, filled the 
world with their renown. It does not, however, says Dr. Johnson, follow, 
'' because a few grasshoppers happen to fill the air with their chirck, that 
they are the only tenants of the field ; for all that appears, the stately ox 
may be chewing its cud in the shade." Is it not, then, possible that, 
without the fact being known to Europeans, America may have been in- 
habited by millions of civilized, happy, and intelligent beings, long before 
Cadmus carried letters into Greece, or Cecrops mtroduced a colony of 
Phoenicians thither ? Let the ancient monuments, now in ruins, answer. 
"It was once debated," said Lord Erskine, '' whether a man falling from 
a given height, could get up and walk ; while, however, the discussion 
was pending, a man who had thus fallen, did get up and walk ; and so 
the argument ended." Just so in the present case. The researches of 
Humboldt in South America, and more especially the discoveries recently 
made in Yucatan and elsewhere, by Stephens, Catherwood, Norman, and 
others, when more fully developed, and the hieroglyphics by them ex- 
humed, more fully understood, we have no doubt will put to flight whole 
volumes of argument, and, at a period not far remote, settle the question 
of American colonization at once and for ever. 

Stephens, in speaking of the ruins of Copan, observes : 
<' The Avail was of cut stone, well laid, and in a good state of preser- 
vation. We ascended by large stone steps, in some places perfect, and 
in others thrown down by trees, which had grown up between the crevi- 


ces, and reached a terrace, the form of which it was impossible to make 
out, from the density of the forest in which it was enveloped. Our guide 
cleared a way with his machette, and we passed, as it lay half-buried in 
the earth, a large fragment of stone elaborately sculptured, and came to 
the angle of a structure, with steps on the sides ; in form and appearance, 
so far as the trees would enable us to make it out, like the sides of a 
pyramid. We next came to a square stone column, about fourteen feet 
high, and three feet on each side, sculptured in very bold relief, and on 
all four of the sides fi'om the base to the top. The front was the figure 
of a man, curiously and richly dressed, and the face evidently a portrait, 
solemn, stern, and well fitted to excite terror. The back was of a differ- 
ent design, unlike anything we had seen before ; and the sides were cov- 
ered with hieroglyphics. This our guide called an idol ; and before it 
was a large block of stone, also sculptured with figures and emblematical 
devices, which he called an altar. The sight of this unexpected monu- 
ment put at rest, at once and for ever, in our minds, all uncertainty in 
regard to the character of American antiquities ; and gave us the assu- 
rance, that the objects we were in search of were interesting, not only as 
the remains of an unknown people, but as works of art ; proving, like 
newly discovered historical records, that the people who once occupied 
the Continent of America, were not savages. With an interest, perhaps 
stronger tJian we had ever felt in Avandering among the ruins of Egypt, 
we followed our guide, who conducted us through the forest, among half, 
buried fragments, to fourteen monuments, of the same character and 
appearance, some with more elegant designs, and some in workmanship 
equal to the finest monuments of the Egyptians. One displaced from its 
pedestal by enormous roots ; another locked in the close embrace of 
branches of trees, and almost lifted out of the earth ; another hurled to 
the ground, and bound down by huge vines and creepers ; and one stand- 
ing, with its altar before it, in a grove of trees which grew around it, 
seemingly to shade and shroud it as a sacred thing. In the solemn still- 
ness of the woods, it seemed a divinity mourning over a fallen people. 
We then returned to the base of the pyramidal' structure, and ascended it - 
by regular stone steps ; in part, they were ornamented with sculptured 
figures, and rows of death's-heads. Climbing over the ruined top, we 
reached a terrace overgrown with trees ; and crossing it, descended by 
stone steps into an area, so covered with trees, that at first we could not 
make out its form ; but which, on clearing the way with the machette, we 
ascertained to be a square, and with steps on all the sides, almost as per- 
fect as those of the Roman amphitheatre. The steps were ornamented 
with sculpture, and on the south side, about half-way up, forced out of its 
place by roots, was a colossal head, evidently a portrait. We ascended 
these steps, and reached a broad terrace a hundred feet high, overlooking 
the river and supported by a wall. The whole was covered with trees, 
and even at this height from the ground, were two gigantic Ceibas, or 
wild cotton-trees of India, above twenty feet in circumference, extending 



their half- naked roots fifty, or a hundred feet around, binding down the 
ruin?, and shading them with their branches. We sat down on the very 
edo-e of the wall, and strove, in vain, to penetrate the mystery by which 
we were surrounded. Who were the people that built this city ? In the 
ruined cities of Egypt — even in the long lost Petra, the stranger knows 
the story of the people whose vestiges are around him. America, say- 
historians, was peopled by savages ; but savages never reared these 
structures J savages never carved these stones. We asked the Indians 
who made them, and their dull answer was, ' Quien sabe V who knows? 
There were no associations connected with the place ; none of those stir- 
ring recollections which hallow Rome, Athens, and 

' The world's great mistress on the Egyptian plain ;' 

but architecture, sculpture, and painting — all the arts which embellish 
life, had flourished in this overgrown forest ; orators, warriors, and states- 
men ; beauty, ambition, and glory, had lived and passed away, and none 
knew that such things had been, or could tell of their past existence. 
Books, the records of knowledge, are silent on this theme. The city was 
desolate ! No remnant of this race hangs round the ruins, with traditions 
handed down from father to son, and from generation to generation. It 
lay before us like a shattered bark in the midst of the ocean ; her masts 
o-one — her name effaced — her crew perished ; and none to tell whence 
she came, to whom she belonged, how long on her voyage, or what caused 
her destruction ; her lost people to be traced only by some fancied re- 
semblance in the construction of the vessel, and perhaps never to be 
known at all. The place where we sat — was it a citadel, from which an 
unknown people had sounded the, trumpet of war ? or a temple for the 
worship of the God of peace 1 or did the inhabitants worship the idols 
made with their own hands, and offer sacrifices on the stones before them ? 
All was mystery — dark, impenetrable mystery — and every circumstance 
increased it. In Egypt, the colossal skeletons of gigantic temples stand 
in the unwatered sands, in all the nakedness of desolation ; here, an im- 
mense forest shrouded the ruins, hiding them from sight ; heightening the 
impression and moral effect, and giving an intensity and almost wildness 
to the interest. 

•' The extent of this ruined city along the river, is more than two miles. 
There is one monument on the opposite side of the river, at the distance 
of a mile, on the top of a mountain two thousand feet high. Whether the 
city ever crossed the river, and extended to that monument, it is impos- 
sible to say. All the rear is an unexplored forest, in which there may 
be ruins. There are no remains of palaces or private buildings, and the 
principal part is that which stands on the bank of the river, and may, 
perhaps, with propriety, be called the temple. 

" This temple is an oblong inclosure. The front, or river wall, ex- 
tends on a right line north and south, six hundred and twenty-four feet. 


and is from sixty to ninety feet in height. It is made of cut stones, from 
three to six feet in length, and a foot and a half in breadth. In many 
places the stones have been thrown down by bushes growing out of the 
crevices ; and in one place there is a small opening, from which the 
ruins are sometimes called by the Indians, Las Ven'anas. or the vvun- 
dows. The other three sides consist of ranges of steps, and pyramidal 
structures, rising from thirty to one hundred and forty feet on the slope. 

" Near the southwest corner of the river wall and the south wall, is a 
recess, which was probably once occupied by a colossal monument, front- 
,ing the water. Beyond are the remains of two small pyramidal struc- 
tures, to the largest of winch is attached a wall, running along the west 
bank of the river. This appears to have been a gateway, or principal 
entrance from the water. The south wall runs at right angles to the 
river, beginning with a range of steps about thirty feet high, and each 
step about eighteen inches square. At the southeast corner is a massive 
pyramida.1 structure, one hundred feet high on the slope. On the right, 
are otlier remains of terraces and pyramidal buildings ; and here also was 
probably a gateway, by a passage about tvventy feet wide, into a quad- 
rangular area two hundred and fifty feet square, tv/o sides of which are 
massive pyramids, one hundred and twenty feet high on the slope. 

'• At the foot of these structures, and in diiferent parts of the quadran- 
gular area, are numerous remains of sculpture ; among others a colossal 
monument richly sculptured, fallen and ruined. Behind it, fragments of 
sculpture thrown from their places, by trees, are strewed and lying loose 
on the side of the pyramid, from the base to the top ; and among them 
our attention was forcibl}- arrested by rows of death's-heads of gigantic 
proportions, still standing in their places about half-way up the side of 
the pyramid. The effect was extraordinary. Among the fragments lying 
on the ground near this place, is a remarkable portrait. It is probably 
the portrait of some king, chieftain, or sage. The mouth is injured, and 
part of the ornament over the wreath that crowns the head. The expres- 
sion is noble and severe, and the whole character shows a close imitation 
of nature. Another column, or idol, stands with its face to the east, about 
six feet from the base of the pyramidal wall. It is thirteen feet in 
height, four feet in front, and three deep, sculptured on all four of its 
sides from the base to the top, and one of the richest and most elaborate 
specimens in the whole extent of the ruins. Originally it was painted, 
the marks of red color being still distinctly visible. Before it, at a dis- 
tance of about eight feet, is a large block of sculptured stone, which the 
Indians call an altar. The subject of the front is a full-length figure, the 
face wanting beard, and of a feminine cast, though the dress seems that 
of a man. On the two sides are rovvs of hieroglyphics, which probably 
recite the history of this mysterious personage. 

Near this is a remarkable altar, which presents as curious a subject 
of speculation as any monument in Copan. The altars, like the idols, 
are all of a single block of stone. In general, they are not so richly 


ornamented, and are more faded and worn, or covered with moss ; some 
were completely buried, and of others it was difficult to make out more 
than the form. All diftered in fashion, and doubtless had some distinct 
and peculiar reference to the idols before which they stood. This stands 
on four globes, cut out of the same stone ; the sculpture is in bas-relief, 
and it is the only specimen of that kind found at Copan, all the rest being 
in bold alto-relievo. It is six feet square, and four feet high, and the top 
is divided into thirty-six tablets of hieroglyphics, which, beyond doubt, 
record some event in the history of the mysterious people who once in- 
habited the city. 

On the west side are the two principal personages, chiefs or warriors, 
mth their faces opposite each other, and apparently engaged in argu- 
ment, or negotiation. The other fourteen are divided into two equal 
parties, and seem to be following their leaders. Each of the two principal 
figures are seated, cross-legged, in the Oriental fashion, on a hiero- 
glyphic, which probably designates his name and office, or character ; and 
on three of which, the serpent forms a part. Between the two principal 
personages is a remarkable cartouche, containing two hieroglyphics well 
preserved, which remind us strongly of the Egyptian method of giving 
the names of the kings, or heroes, in whose honor monuments were 
erected. The head-dresses are remarkable for their curious and com- 
plicated form ; the figures have all breastplates, and one of the two prin- 
cipal characters holds in his hand an instrument, which may, perhaps, 
be considered a sceptre ; each of the others holds an object, which can 
be only a subject of speculation and conjecture. It may be a weapon of 
war, and if so, it is the only thing of the kind found represented at Copan. 
In other countries, battle scenes, warriors, and weapons of war, are 
among the most prominent subjects of sculpture ; and from the entire 
absence of them here, there is reason to believe that the people were not 
warlike, but peaceable, and easily subdued. 

Mr. Stephens, to whose " Incidents of travel in Central America," we 
again refer with great satisfaction, in speaking of the ruins of Quirigua, 
observes : " They ascended to the top of a pyramidal structure, about 
twenty-five feet, and descending by steps on the other side, at a short dis- 
tance beyond came to a colossal head, two yards in diameter, almost 
buried by an enormous tree, and covered with moss. Near it was a 
large altar ; proceeding three or four hundred yards to the north, they 
reached a collection of monuments of the same general character with 
those at Copan, but twice or three times as high. 

" The first is about twenty feet high, five feet six inches on two sides, 
and two feet eight, on the other two. The front, represents the figure of 
a man, well preserved— the back, that of a woman, much defaced ; the 
sides are covered with hieroglyphics, but in bas-relief, and of' exactly 
the same style as those at Copan. 

" Another is twenty-three feet out of the ground, with figures of men 
on the front and back, and hieroglyphics, in bas-relief, on the sides, and 
surrounded by a base, projecting fifteen or sixteen feet from it. 


" At a short distaiice is an obelisk, or carved stone, twenty-six feet out 
of the ground, and probably six or eight feet under it. It is leaning 
twelve feet two inches out of the perpendicular, and seems ready to fall. 
The side toward the ground represents the figure of a man, very perfect, 
and finely sculptured — the other two contain hieroglyphics, in bas-relief. 
In size and sculpture, this is the finest of the whole. 

"' A statue, ten feet high, is lying on the ground, covered with moss 
and herbage ; and another, about the same size of this, with its face up- 
ward. Others, of a similar kind, are found in the same vicinity. 

" The general character of these ruins, is the same as at Copan ; the 
monuments are much larger, but they are sculptured in relief, less rich 
in design, and more faded and worn, probably being of a much older date. 

" Of one thing there is no doubt : a large city once stood there. Its 
name is lost — its history unknown. For centuries it has lain as if covered 
with the lava of Vesusdus ; every traveller from Yzabal to Guatimala 
has passed within three hours of it, and yet there it lay — like the rock- 
built city pf Edom — unvisited, unsought, and unknown." 

]\Ir. Stephens, in the work above referred to, after describing the ruins 
of Santa Cruz del Quichi, another city of Central America, evidently of 
modern date, observes : " We consider this place important, from the fact 
that its history is known, and its date is fixed. It was in its greatest 
splendor when Alvarado conquered it — it proves the character of the 
buildings which the Indians of that day constructed, and its ruins con- 
firm the glowing accounts given by Cortez and his companions, of the 
splendor displayed in the edifices of Mexico. The point to which we 
directed our attention, was to discover some resemblance to the ruins of 
Copan and Quirigua ; but we did not find statues, or carved figures, or 
hieroglyphics, nor could we learn that any had ever been found there. 
If there had been such evidences, we should have considered these re- 
mains the works of the same race of people ; but in the absence of such 
evidences, we believed that Copan and Quirigua, were cities of another 
race, and of a much older date." 

Of Palenque, another city in ruins, Mr. Stephens remarks : " The 
ruins of Palenque are the first which awakened attention to the existence 
of ancient and unknown cities in America, and on that account, are 
more interesting to the public than any other. The Indians, and the 
people of Palenque, say that they cover a space of sixty miles — ten 
times larger than New- York, and three times as large as London." 

Of a building, supposed to be a palace, Mr. Stephens says : " It stands 
on an artificial elevation, of an oblong form, forty feet high, three hun- 
dred and ten feet in front and rear, and two hundred and sixty feet on 
each side. This elevation was paved with stone, which has been thrown 
down by the growth of trees, and its form is hardly distinguishable. 

"The building stands with its face to the east, and measures two hun- 
dred and twenty-eight feet, by one hundred and eighty feet deep. Its 
height is not more than twenty-five feet, and all around, it had a broad 


projecting cornice of stone. The front contained fourteen doorways, 
■^ about nine feet wide each, and the intervening piers are between six and 
seven feet wide. On the left, in approaching the palace, eight of the 
piers have fallen down, as has also the corner on the right, and the ter- 
race underneath is cumbered with ruins. But six piers remain entire, 
and the rest of tlie front is open. 

" The building was constructed of stone, with a mortar of lime and sand, 
" and the whole front was covered with stucco, and painted. The piers 
■were ornamented with spirited figures in bas-relief; on the top are three 
hieros:h-phics, sunk in the stucco ; it is inclojed by a richly ornamented 
border, about ten feet high, and six wide, of which only part remains. 
The principal personage stands in an upright position, and in profile. 
The head represents a different species from any now existing in that 
region of country, and indicates a race of people now lost and unknown. 
He holds in his hand a staff*, or sceptre, and opposite his hands are the 
marks of these hieroglyphics, which have decayed or been broken off; 
at his feet are two naked figures^ seated cross-legged, and apparently 
suppliants. The hieroglyphics doubtless tell its story. The stucco is of 
admirable consistency, and hard as stone. It was painted, and in differ- 
ent places about it we discovered the remains of red, blue, yellow, black, 
and white. 

" The building has two parallel corridors, running lengthwise on all four 
of its sides. The floors are of a cement as hard as the best seen in the 
remains of Roman baths and cisterns. The walls are about ten feet 
high, and on each side of the principal entrance ornamented with medal- 
lions, of which the borders only remain. This, perhaps, contained the 
busts of the royal family. 

" From the centre door a range of stone steps, thirty feet long, leads to 
a rectangular courtyard, eighty feet by seventy. On each side of the 
steps are grim and gigantic figures carved in stone, nine or ten feet high. 
This courtyard was encumbered with trees, so that we could hardly see 
across it, and so filled with rubbish, that we were obliged to make exca- 
vations of several feet before the figures could be drawn. 

" Such is, in fact, only a description of the supposed palace of Palenque, 
from which the reader will form some idea of the profusion of its orna- 
iiients — of their unique and striking character, and of their mournful 
effect shrouded by trees ; and perhaps, with him as with us, fancy will 
paint it as it was before the hand of time had swept over it — perfect in 
its amplitude and rich decorations, and occupied by the strange people, 
whose portraits and figures adorn its walls. 

'•' Here," says Stephens, " were the remains of a cultivated, polished, 
and peculiar people, who have passed through all the stages incident to 
the rise and fall of nations — reached their golden age, and perished en- 
tirely unknown : the links which connected them with the human family 
were severed and lost, and those were the only memorials of their foot- 
steps upon earth. We lived in the ruined palace of their kings, we went 


up to their desolate temples and ruined altars, and wherever we moved 
we saw the evidence of their taste — their skill in the arts — their wealth 
and power. In the midst of desolation and ruin we looked back to the 
past — cleared away the gloomy forests, and fancied every building per- 
fect, with its terraces and pyramids, its sculptured and painted ornaments, 
grand, lofty and imposing, and overlooking an immense inhabited plain. 
We called back into life the strange people who gazed at us in sadness 
from the walls — pictured them in fanciful costumes, and adorned with 
plumes of feathers, ascending the terraces of the palace, and the steps 
leading to the -'temples — and imagined a scene of unique and gorgeous 
beauty and magnificence, realizing the emotions of oriental poets — the 
very spot which fancy would have solicited for the '• happy valley" of 
Rasselas. In the romance of this world's history, nothing ever impressed 
me more forcibly than the spectacle of this once great and lovely city, 
overturned, desolate, and lost — discovered by accident — overgrown with 
trees, and without even a name. Apart from everything else, it was a 
moving witness to this world's mutations. Cortez, on his conquering 
march from Mexico to Honduras, by the lake of Peten, must have passed 
within twenty or thirty miles of it ; and if Palenque at that time had 
been a living city, its fame must have reached his ears, and he would in 
all probability have turned aside from his road to subdue or plunder it. 
'T is therefore reasonable to suppose that Palenque was at that time deso- 
late, ruined; and lost." 

Of the ruined city of Uxmal and its ornaments, Mr. Stephens remarks : 
" Probably all their ornaments have a symbolical meaning — each stone 
is part of an allegory or fable, hidden from us — inscrutable under the 
light of the feeble torch we may burn before it, but which, even if 
revealed, will show that the history of the world yet remains to be 

In addition to the evidence recently furnished by the discovery and 
exhibitions of ruins in Central America, (scarcely begun to be developed,) 
other evidence of an inferior character, tending to the same result, has 
long existed at the north, and in every part of our country. Ancient forti- 
fications, requiring more industry and greater efforts to erect them, than 
the race of Indians now existing ever exhibited, and of which no tradi- 
tionary accounts remain. Inscriptions on rocks and in caves, said to 
be of Egyptian or Phoenician origin — specimens of pottery and other 
relics, together with mounds, tumuli, and barro\\-s, as they are some- 
times called, have led many to suppose that this was the primitive con- 
tinent — that the ark of Noah rested somewhere within its limits : and 
that civilization was originally from thence diffused to other parts of the 

The evidence, however, in support of these several positions falls short 
of demonstration, and most of it, without doubt, is wholly imaginary. 
Dr. Beck, in his C4az8teer of Illinois, speaking of Mount Joliet, a large 
mound on the west bank of the Pviver des Plaines, near the village of 



Juliet, and about forty miles from Chicago, says : " It is about three or 
four hundred yards in length, and two or three hundred in breadth. Its 
form is that of a prism ; it is evidently the work of art, and is probably 
the larsrest mound in the United States." 

Priest, in his American Antiquities^ speaking of the same, observes : 
" Its situation is such as to give to its size its fullest effect — being in a 
level country, with no hill in sight to form a contrast. Its height is sixty 
feet — nearly four rods perpendicular — its length eighty-four rods — -its 
width fourteen. This mound is built on the horizontal limestone stratum 
of the secondary formation, and is fronted by the beautiful Lake Joliet, 
which is about fifteen mites long, presenting the most noble and pictu- 
resque spot in all America. This mound consists of 18,2.50,000 solid 
feet of earth. How long it took to build it is more than can be made out, 
as the number of men employed, and the facilities for carrying on the 
work, are unknown." 

Persons who have visited Mount Joliet, and read the above glowing 
description in printed volumes, knowing, as they do, that Mount Joliet 
furnishes no other evidence of having been erected by human hands, 
than the White Hills of New-Hampshire, or the Rock of Gibraltar, are 
led to doubt sometimes the veracity, and sometimes the judgment, of their 

Sir Walter Raleigh, a celebrated courtier in the reign of Queen Eliza- 
beth, distinguished alike for his learning and bravery, familiarly known 
in the annals of Virginia, and the annals of the tower of London, very 
justly remarks : " If we advisedly consider the state and countenance of 
the world, we shall find that it were very ill done, by following opinion 
without the guide of reason, to pare the times over deeply ; because in 
cutting them too near the quick, the reputation of the whole story might, 
perchance, bleed." We will then pass over this secondary evidence, 
without alluding to the White Indians or the Welch, who, we are gravely 
told, reside at the far west, or even to the lost tribes of the house of Israel ; 
believing as we do, the existence of such in our country, to be entirely 
problematical. The extraordinary flood of light poured in of late, upon 
American antiquities, has put all former evidence in the shade. Central 
Am.erica will soon become classic ground. The savans of Europe will, 
at a period not far remote, resort thither to decipher, by the light of her 
flaming volcanoes, those wonderful hyeroglyphics hitherto concealed from 
every eye. The story of American colonization will then be told. We 
shall then learn that a living multitude once thronged those forests, now 
vocal with the tiger's growl. That that multitude was learned, accom- 
plished, and refined, ere the British Isles had been heard of That the 
arts and sciences were taught, and practiced in America, ere civilization 
dawned upon Europe. We may learn something too of Abraham ; of 
Isaac, and of Jacob ; of Pharaoh, and Joseph ; of the patriarchs, and the 
prophets. Let, however, the views above referred to check for a while 
the pride and arrogance of human learning, and, for the present, teach 
humility to our race. 



It is also probable, that Central America will become the seat of an extensive com- 
merce. The fertility of its soil, and its central position between the Atlantic and Pa- 
cific Oceans, coupled with the probabihty of a ship navigation uniting the two, seem to 
designate Guatunala as a theatre for extraordinary events ; it may, therefore, at some fii. 
ture day, be restored to its pristine grandeur. 

Mr. Baily, a half-pay ofEcer in the British navy, by order of the government of Central 
America, a few years since surveyed the route of a canal from Port St. Juan, on the Pa- 
cific, to the Atlantic Ocean. According to his survey, the distance from the Pacific to 
Lake Nicaragua is fifteen and two-third miles ; the ascents altogether, are one thousand 
four hundred and seven feet five inches ; the descents are nine hundred and nineteen feet. 
The lake, it seems then, is one hundred and twenty-eight feet three inches above the level 
of the Pacific. This lake is ninety-five miles long, and thirty wide, in its broadest part ; 
fi^m thence to the Atlantic, by the river San Juan, is seventy-nine miles. Mr. Stephens 
estimates the whole expense at from twenty to twenty-five millions of dollars, equal to 
about the estimated cost of the enlarged Erie Canal. " I am authorized," says he, " to 
state, that no physical obstructions of the country present any impediment to its comple- 
tion." He gives it as his opinion, " That the two oceans will be united ; that to men of 
leisure and fortune, jaded with rambUng over the ruins of the old world, a new country 
will be opened. After a journey on the Nile, a day in Petra, and a bath in the Euphra- 
tes, English and American travellers -svill be bitten by mosquitos on the lake of Nicara- 
gua, and drink champaign and Burton ale on the desolate shore of San Juan, on the Pa- 
cific. To an acute observer of the progress of modem improvement, during the last 
fifty years, the above seems more probable than many events that have happened in our 
day and generation. 


Illinois originally a part of Florida — Grant of the whole Continent to Spain, by the Pope — 
His motive — Alonzo De Ojeda — His Proclamation — Cortez — Pizarro — Ponce de Leon 
discovers Florida — His Expedition thither — Pamphilo de Narvaez — His Expedition to 
Florida — Ferdinand de Soto — -Atahualpa's ransom — Soto's Expedition to Florida — Dis- 
covers the Mississippi — Dies — Moscoso succeeds him — Expedition — Returns — Louis 
Cancello — Admiral CoUgny, of France, attempts to colonize Florida — John Ribault 
sails thither — Colony broken up — Laudonniere renews the attempt — Sir John Hawkins 
relieves them — Melendez of Spain massacres the whole Colony — De Gourguis retali- 
ates — France abandons Florida — Spain resumes and keeps possession of it— Title con- 

The State of Illinois was, originally, a part of Florida, and so laid 
down upon the old Spanish map, of North America. The history of 
Florida then, is a part of our history ; and its conquest, a legitimate sub- 
ject for considation here. 

The title of Spain to the '• Far West" rested, originally, on its discov- 
ery. Not satisfied, however, with a title, better by far than any other 
at that time extant, and when accompanied by possession, the very best 
in the world, Ferdinand and Isabella sought and obtained its confirma- 
tion by the pope. 

The Roman pontiff, (Alexander VI.,) infamous for almost every crime 
that disgraces humanity, was born a subject of Ferdinand ; and wishing 
the aid and influence of Spain to promote his ambitious views, rejoiced 
exceedingly at thus having an opportunity to gratify the Castilian mon- 
arch. As the vicar and representative of Jesus Christ, the pope was sup- 
posed, and believed by many, to have a perfect, indefeasible right of 
dominion over all the kingdoms of the earth ; and especially, over all 
countries inhabited by infidels. By an act of liberality, which cost him 
nothing; and which served eventually to establish the jurisdiction and 
pretensions of the papal see to the newly discovered world, he granted 
to Ferdinand and Isabella, in perpetuity, all the lands which they had 
discovered, or should thereafter discover, west of an imaginary line, 
drawn from north to south, one hundred leagues west of the Azores. By 
thus doing, he conferred upon the crown of Castile vast regions, to the 
possession of which he was so far from having any title, that he was un- 
acquainted with their situation, and ignorant even of their existence. 
Such; however, was the influence and power of the pope, that an opinion 
adverse to its validity would, at that time, have been presumptuous, and 
might have exposed its author to imminent peril. 

In justice, however, to the high contracting parties, we ought, perhaps, 
here to remark, that the propagation of the Christian faith was urged by 


Ferdinand, as a reason for soliciting, and mentioned by Alexander as the 
motive for making, so extraordinary a grant. We ought, perhaps, also to 
remark,' that several friars, under the direction of Father Boyl, a Calalo- 
nian monk of great reputation, accompanied Columbus in his several 
voyages, to instruct the natives. 

To give the Spanish title an appearance of validity, the most eminent 
divines and lawyers in the kingdom were employed to prescribe the mode 
and manner of taking possession of the countries thus granted. The his- 
tory of our race nowhere else furnishes so extraordinary a document. 
It is, indeed, without a parallel ; unless " Death tribute, or the Koran," 
under which the Moslem had marched to victory, in a thousand fields 
of battle, could be regarded as such. 

The invaders were instructed, as soon as they landed on the Conti- 
nent — 

1. To deliver to the natives the principal articles of the Christian faith. 

2. To acquaint them, in particular, of the supreme jurisdiction of the 
pope over all the kingdoms of the earth. 

3. To inform them of the grant which the holy pontiff had made of 
their country to the King of Spain. 

4. To require them to embrace the doctrines of that religion which the 
Spaniards made known to them. 

5. To submit to the sovereign whose authority they proclaimed ; and 
in case of their refusal, the invaders were authorized to attack them with 
fire and sword ; to reduce them, their wives, and children, to a state of 
servitude ; and to compel them, by force, to acknowledge the jurisdiction 
of the church, and the authority of the Spanish king. 

Alonzo de Ojeda, a young man of respectable family, brought up as a 
page or esquire in the service of the Duke of Medina Cell, having re- 
ceived a commission from Don Juan Rodriguez Fonseca, Bishop of Pla- 
centia, (who had the chief management of the affairs of the Indies, undei 
which general name was comprehended all the countries then recently 
discovered in this new world,) to fit out an armament and proceed on a 
voyage of discovery, embarked from Spain, in the month of May, 1499, 
and after a prosperous voyage of twenty-four days, arrived on the coast 
of Surinam. The celebrated Amerigo Vespucci, a Florentine merchant, 
from whom the Continent derives its name, induced by broken fortunes 
and a rambling disposition for adventure, accompanied him thither. On 
the arrival of Ojeda, he issued the following " declaration or requisition," 
which served, as a model to the Spaniards in their subsequent conquests ; 
and is so extraordinary in its nature, and exhibits so clearly the principles 
upon which the Spaniards founded their rights to the extensive dominions 
they afterward subdued, that it merits an attentive perusal. It was in 
the following words : 

" I, Alonzo de Ojeda, servant of the most high and powerful King of Castile and Leon, 
the conqueror of barbarous nations, their messenger and captain, notify to you, and de- 
clare, in as ample form as I am capable, that God our Lord, who is one and eternal, created 


the heavens and the earth ; and one man and one woman, of whom you and we, and all 
the men who have been or shall be in the world, are descended. But, as it has come to 
pass, through the number of generations during more than five thousand years, that they 
have been dispersed into various kingdoms and provinces, because one country was not 
able to contain them, nor could they have fomid in one the means of subsistence and pre- 
servation ; therefore God our Lord gave the charge of all those people to one man, named 
St. Peter, whom he constituted the lord and head of all the human race, that all men, in 
whatever place they are born, or in whatever faith or place they are educated, might yield 
obedience unto him. He hath subjected the whole world to liis jurisdiction, and com- 
manded him to estabhsh his residence in Rome, as the most proper place for the govern- 
ment of the world. He likewise promised and gave him power to establish his authority 
in every other part of the world, and to judge and govern all Christians, Moors, Jews, 
Gentiles, and all other people, of whatever sect or faith they may be. To him is given 
the name of Pope, which signifies admirable, great father and guardian, because he is the 
father and guardian of all men. Those who lived in the time of this holy father, obeyed 
and acknowledged liim as their lord and king, and the superior of the universe. The same 
has been observed with respect to them who, since his time, have been chosen to the pon- 
tificate. Thus it now continues, and wUl continue, to the end of the world. 

" One of these pontiffs, as lord of the woTld, hath made a grant of these islands, and of 
the terra fiirma to the ocean sea, to the Catholic Kings of Castile, Don Ferdinand and Donna 
Isabella, of glorious memoiy, and their successors, our sovereigns, with all they contain, as 
is more fully expressed in certain deeds passed upon that occasion, which you may see, if 
you desire it. Thus his majesty is lord and king of these islands, and of the Continent, in 
virtue of tliis donation ; and, as king and lord aforesaid, most of the islands to which his 
title has been notified, have recognized his majesty, and now yield obedience and subjec- 
tion to him as their lord, voluntarily and without resistance ; and instantly, as soon as 
they received information, they obeyed the religious men sent by the king- to preach to 
them, and to instruct them ui our holy faith ; and all these, of their own free Avill, without 
any recompense or gratuity, became Christians, and continue to be so ; and his majesty, 
having received them gratuitously under his protection, has commanded that they should 
be treated in the same manner as the other subjects and vassals. You are bound and 
obhged to act m the same manner. Therefore, I now entreat and require you to consider 
attentively what I have declared to you ; and, that you may more perfectly comprehend it> 
that you may acknowledge the Church as the superior and guide of the imiverse, and 
like-«'ise, the holy father called the Pope, in liis own right, and his majesty by his appoint- 
ment, as king and sovereign lord of these islands, and of the terra firma ; and that you 
consent that the aforesaid holy fathers shall declare and preach to you the doctrines above 
mentioned. If you do this, you act well, and perform that to which you are bound and 
obliged ; and liis majesty, and I in his name, will receive you with love and kindness, and- 
leave you, your wives and cliildren, free and exempt from servitude, and in the enjoyment 
of all you possess, in the same manner as the inhabitants of these islands. Besides this, 
bis majesty will bestow upon you many privileges, exemptions, and rewards. But, if you 
will not comply, or maliciously delay to obey my injmiction, then, with the help of God, I 
will enter your country by force ; I will carry on war against you with the utmost -violence, 
I will subject you to the yoke of obedience to the church and the king, I will take your 
wives and children and make them slaves, and sell or dispose of them acccording to his 
majesty's pleasure ; I ^\'ill seize yom- goods, and do you all the mischief in my power, as 
rebelhous subjects, who will not acknowledge or submit to their lawful sovereign. And I 
protest, that all the bloodshed and calamities which shall follow, are to be imputed to you, 
and not to his majesty, or to me, or to the gentlemen who serve under me ; and as I have 
now made the declaration and requisition unto you, I require the notary here present to 
grant me a certificate of this, subscribed in proper form." 

Ojeda, less fortunate in making converts than captives, returned to 
Spain in June, 1500, with " a cargo of Indians,'' which he sold for slaves 


at Cadiz. Other adventurers succeeded, and among them, those who 
had gained laurels under Ferdinand, in the mountains of Andalusia.- 
The names of Cortez and Pizarro are familiar to all, one as the conqueror 
of Mexico, the other of Peru. One died in obscurity in 1554, unable to 
obtain an audience with his sovereign, (Charles V.) after he "had given 
him," as he observes, " more provinces than his ancestors had left him 
towns." The other pei'ished by the hand of an assassin, " amid heaps of 
gold, extorted by violence from oppressed natives.'' To carve out em- 
pires with the sword, and divide their wealth among heartless, unprin- 
cipled followers; to plunder the accumulated ti'easures of ages, and 
return laden with captives and spoils, were in those days but ordinary 
exploits. Ease, fortune, and life were thus hazarded without remorse, - 
and the issue, though uncertain, was sometimes so brilliant that imagina- 
tion was lost m wonder. 

Juan Ponce de Leon discovered Florida, in- 1512. He had figured izi 
the wars of Grenada, had accompanied Columbus on his second voyace, 
had distinguished himself in Hispaniola as a gallant soldier, and been 
rewarded by Ovando with the government of its eastern provinces. He ' 
saw at a distance the island of Porto Rico, and was stimulated by ava- 
rice to attempt its conquest ; he aspired to its government, and succeeded 
in both. He oppressed the natives, amassed a fortune, and desired still 
further honors. His commission, however, conflicted with the heirs of 
Columbus, and de Leon was removed. He souglit next a kingdom, a.nd 
Florida met his view. On the 3rd of March, 1512, he embarked in three - 
ships, fitted out at his own expense, and on the 27th discovered land. It 
was on Easter Sunday, which the Spaniards called Pascua Florida. 
The whole country was then brilliant with verdure, and gay with flowers : 
hence its name. 

Ponce de Leon was at that time advanced in years ; having seen hard 
service in his native country, and acquired a fortune amid perils and 
dangers, he desired immortality. He had heard and believed the tale of 
a fountain, in this newly-discovered land, Vvhich gave perpetuity of youth 
to all who should bathe in its stream and drink of its waters. He sought, - 
therefore, by its magic influence, a renewal of his age; and hoped to 
find in Florida a refuge from all his toil. 

On the 8th of April, 1512, he landed, a little north of St. Augustine, 
being prevented by bad weather from landing before, and claimed the 
whole country for Spain. He remained a few weeks to examine its 
coast, was threatened with shipwreck on his return, doubled Cape Florida 
in a storm, and arrived safely at Porto Rico. He was appointed, afterward, 
governor of the territory. His commission, however, required him to 
colonize the country. He returned thither in 1521, with ten ships, for that 
purpose ; was attacked by the natives with great fury soon after he landed, 
received a mortal wound from an Indian's arrow, and went to Cuba to lan- 
guish and to die. Thus ended the first lesson in this great drama of guilt. 


Notwithstanding the jTiisfortunes of Ponce de Leon, the passion of ad- 
venturers for undiscovered wealth was not yet repressed ; and Pamphilo 
de Narvaez, in 1526, sought and obtained from Charles V., an appoint- 
ment " to the conquest of Florida ;'' a strange commission, though not 
without its parallel in history. He was a man " of no great virtue or re- 
putation ;" and had been sent a short time before, by the zealous governor 
of Cuba, to take Cortez prisoner. After declaring him an outlaw, and 
threatening him with vengeance, he was deserted by his followers, and 
after losing an eye in the aftray, he was himself defeated and taken 
prisoner. Being brought before the man he had promised to arrest, he 
said to his conqueror : " Esteem it;, sir, great good fortune that you have 
taken me captive." Cortez replied, and truly: "It is, the least of the 
things I have done in Mexico." 

The expedition of Narvaez was equally adventurous with his attempt 
upon Cortez, and more disastrous. Of three hundred followers who em- 
barked in the expedition, four or five only returned. The place where 
they landed is somewhat uncertain ; the party, however, we are credibly 
informed, struck into the interior, following the direction of natives anxious 
to get rid of unwelcome visitors ; who led them, with great address, to a 
country far remote, filled as was said with gold, where dreams of ava- 
I'ice, however rapacious, were sure to be realized. Pursuing a phantom 
for about six months, and marching a distance of eight hundred males, 
they arrived, by a circuitous route, in great penury upon the coast, in 
the bay of Pensacola, whence they embarked for Cuba, in boats speedily 
constructed, wherein no other than desperate men would have adventured. 
Some perished in a storm near the mouth of the Mississippi, among whom 
was their commander. Some survived shipwreck to die by famine, and 
four reached Mexico by land, after suffering extreme hardships — persist- 
ing, to the last, that Florida was the richest country on the globe. 

The assertion was believed, even by the conquerors of Mexico and Peru ; 
and Ferdinand de Soto sought to rival Pizarro in wealth, and Cortez in 
o-lory. He Avas a native of Xeres, and by military service had acquired 
both fame and fortune. He had accompanied Pizarro and his mercenary 
hordes m the conquest of Peru, and on divers occasions had surpassed 
them all in bravery. He had assisted his commander to arrest the Inca 
Atahualpa, and shared profusely in his ransom. (See note.) Perceiving 
an alarming jealousy in the camp of Pizarro, he seasonably withdrew, 
with his share of its spoils, and repaired to Spain to display his wealth 
and solicit advancement. He had married the daughter of a distinguished 
nobleman, in whose suit he had served, and with great confidence now 
sought from his sovereign the conquest of Florida. Success of every 
kind at first awaited him, and Charles V. granted with great readiness, 
to a commander so renowned, the government of Cuba, with absolute 
power to conquer at his own cost, for the Spanish crown, the adjacent 


His intentions were no sooner announced, than adventurers of noble 
birth and ample fortunes, flocked in great numbers to his standard. 
Houses and lands, olive-trees and vineyards, (as in the days of the Cru- 
sades,) vi^ere sold to defray expenses ; and out of the numerous aspirants 
for wealth and fame, De Soto selected for his companions six hundred 
Spaniards in the bloom of life, the flower of Castilian chivalry, leaving a 
considerable number still behind. 

In May, 1539, he embarked, full of expectation, from Cuba, and in 
about two weeks anchored in the bay of Spiritu Santo. He disembarked 
his troops without delay, and like Cortez, dismissed his ships, lest they 
should aflbrd temptation to return. 

He commenced his march with a force, exceeding in numbers and 
equipments, the famous expeditions against Mexico and Peru. Every- 
thing that wealth, experience, and cruelty, could suggest, was at his 
command . '-Chains for captives " — - the instruments of a forge '*' — " arms 

of every kind, and bloodhounds as auxiliaries " — •'•' stores of provisions " 

and, as a last resort, a drove of hogs : which, in a clime like this, where 
the forests bent with perennial fruits, and Indian-corn abounded," would 
shortly swarm and furnish food in case of necessity. It was in fact an 
expedition of gallant freebooters in quest of fortune, through regions un- 
explored and paths unknown. A desperate spirit of gambling pervaded 
every corps. Twelve priests accompanied the expedition ; avarice and 
zeal were strangely intermixed, and Florida was apparently to be Catho- 
lie, amid scenes of robbery and carnage. 

The first season brought them to the country of the Appalachians. 
Their march thither was tedious, and full of danger ; the Indians were 
hostile, and designedly misled them, even when death under the fangs of 
bloodhounds, was in prospect before them. The troops became dispirited 
and longed to return ; their commander, however, was inflexible. 

In the spring of 1.540, De Soto renewed his march. . An Indian guide 
promised to lead him to a distant country, governed by a woman, where 
gold, it was said, abounded ; (supposed to be the golden regions of 
North Carolina.) The adventurers immediately changed their course, 
passed the Altamaha,viewed with delight the fertile valleys of Georgia, came 
upon the Oguchee, and passed the head waters of the Savannah through 
the Cherokee country to the Coosa. The natives were poor, but gentle ; 
they interposed no obstacles to their march, gave them of their scanty 
stores whatever they could spare, and for some time cheerfully bore their 
burdens. An exploring party sent to the north, appalled by the vast • 
chain of mountains which met their view, (the Appalachian chain,) pro- ' 
nounced them impassable. They had toiled with great eagerness for sil- 
ver and gold, and hunger, nakedness, and penury, were still before them. 
In October, 1.540, they reached a considerable town on the Alabama, 
above the junction of the Tombickbee, at some distance from Pensacola. 
The village was called Mavilla, or Mobile, a name which it still retains- 
The Spaniards, worn out by incessant hardships, and tired of encamping 



in forests, here sought to occupy its cabins. The natives, indignant, rose 
on their invaders — a battle ensued : the town was set on fire, and two 
thousand five hundred Indians were slain. " Of the Christians, eighteen 
died," and the whole Spanish baggage was consumed. Though ships 
from Cuba had arrived at Pensacola, De Soto, too proud to confess his 
failure, and too stubborn to acknowledge himself defeated, resolved, like 
Cortez, to send no intelligence home till he had accomplished something 
worthy of his fame. He therefore directed his march to the north, his 
troops being reduced by sickness and warfare to five hundred men, and 
took up his quarters for the winter in the upper part of the present State 
of Mississippi, in the country of the Chickasaws. When the spring 
opened, in 1541, he demanded of the natives two hundred men to carry his 
burdens. The Chickasaws, enraged that strangers and enemies should 
occupy their homes like the inhabitants of Moscow, when the legions of 
Napoleon sought refuge from a Russian winter within the walls, set fire 
to their own dwellings at midnight, in which the Castilians were en- 
camped, and almost every cabin was immediately consumed. The savage 
war-whoop, mingling with the flames for the first time in North America, 
rung through the air, and had the Indians conducted with skill and bra- 
very, they would have exterminated their proud invaders. But, like other 
barbarians who had met the Spaniards in battle, they trembled at their 
own success, and feared the unequal contest. Horses which had broken 
loose, were mistaken by them for hostile squadrons ; and although eleven 
Christians lost their lives in the tumult, and De Soto's weapons and bag- 
gage were all consumed, delay was suffered to intervene, and when the 
Spanish camp was afterward attacked, the Christians were found pre- 

The misfortunes which De Soto had hitherto encountered, seemed only 
to confirm his obstinacy ; and instead of returning as a fugitive to the 
country from whence he came, he resolved on finding, at all hazards, a 
wealthier region ; and for several successive days struggled through for- 
ests and marshes, directed by the natives, till he came to an Indian settle- 
ment on the banks of the Mississippi. He was the first European who 
had beheld that magnificent river, rolling its mighty flood through an allu- 
vial soil to the ocean, bearing then, as now, whole trees upon its surface. 
Althoufh three centuries have since elapsed, its character has not 
changed. It was then described, " as more than a mile broad ; flowing 
with a strong current, and forcing a channel of great depth by the weight 
of its waters." 

The arrival of so many strangers, awakened at first curiosity among 
the natives, and afterward excited fear. A multitude of people, of all 
ages and conditions, painted in gorgeous style, and decorated with plumes 
and feathers, with bows and arrows in their hands, their chiefs sitting 
under awnings magnificent as barbarians could weave, came rowing down 
the stream in a fleet of two hundred canoes, and brought gifts of fish to 
their invaders. They showed at first some signs of resistance ; but con- 


scious of their weakness, they ceased shortly to defy an enemy whose 
power was irresistible, and suffered injury without retaliation. The boats 
of the natives were too weak to transport horses, and barges were there- 
fore constructed for crossing the river. A month nearly elapsed before 
their preparations were all completed, and the Europeans borne in tri- 
umph across the stream. 

In ascending the west bank of the Mississippi, the Spaniards were 
obliged to wade through deep, and almost impenetrable morasses, till they 
came to the elevated grounds which extend in the direction of New- 
Madrid, and here the religion of the invaders and the natives first came in 
contact. The former were adored as children of the Sun, and the halt, 
the lame, and the blind, were brought into their presence, in order to be 

De Soto, in reply to their frequent entreaties, told them to " pray to 
God who is in Heaven, for whatever they needed." It would seem, then, 
that the sublime doctrines of Christianity promulgated centuries before in 
India, were now brought for the fii'st time to the untutored savages of 
North America, by a military adventurer. 

In July, 1541, De Soto marched as far north as Pacaha, in Arkansas, 
where he remained about forty days. An exploring party, sent northerly 
from there, reported, on their return, that the country in that direction 
"was thinly inhabited ; that buffaloes were so numerous that maize could 
not be cultivated, and that the regions still farther north, (on the Mis- 
souri,) were nearly a desert. He turned, therefore, his course to the 
west and southw^est, and ascended as far up as the highlands of White 
River, about two hundz'ed miles from the Mississippi, which termi- 
nated his ramble in that direction. The mountains in the vicinity 
affording neither gems nor gold, the disappointed adventurers thereupon 
turned to the south, and explored the tributaries of the Washita, where 
they found whole tribes of Indians, advanced to some extent in civiliza- 
tion ; having fixed places of abode, and subsisting on the produce of their 
fields, instead of the chase. Peaceable and inoffensive, the Spaniards 
treated them with great severity, sometimes employing them as porters 
and sometimes as guides ; and on slight suspicion, cutting off their hands 
for punishment or intimidation ; sometimes throwing them to their blood- 
hounds, and sometimes into the flames. Any trifling consideration of 
safety induced De Soto to set fire to their hamlets, not because he delighted 
in cruelty, but because the happiness, the life, and the rights of the na- 
tives, were of no account. The approacli of the Spaniards was of course 
heard with dismay, and their departure hastened, as before, by the sug- 
gestion of wealthier lands at a distance. 

In March, 1542, he descended the Washita to its junction with the Red 
River, and from thence to the Mississippi. He there inquired of a chief, 
by the name of Guachoya, the direction and distance to the sea, and re- 
ceived for answer, -that the lower banks of the Mississippi were a wild, 
uncultivated waste. Unwillinc- to believe so disheartening a tale, he sent 


forward eight horsemen to explore the country, who, after wandermg 
about for several days among frequent ba^vous, impassable cane-brakes, 
and impenetrable forests, returned and filled the Spanish camp with gloom. 
His followers and horses were at this time wasting rapidly away, and the 
natives were becoming dangerous. Driven to his last and almost only 
resource, De Soto attempted for the first time to overawe a savage tribe 
near Natchez, by claiming a supernatural birth, and demanded from them 
obedience and tribute. Its undaunted chief, instead of complying with 
his demands, invited him to their camp, and told him, " If he came in 
peace, he v.ould receive him in friendship ; if in war, he would not shrink 
one foot from his presence." De Soto, unable longer to punish temerity 
in the natives, sunk under the weight of conflicting emotions. His health 
failed him, and his stubborn pride was changed into wasting melancholy. 
A malignant fever in the meantime set in, during which he received but 
little comfort, and less attention than his last hours required. Supposing 
his death to be near, he held the last solemn interview with his compan- 
ions, and yielding to their wishes, named a successor. On the 21st of 
May, 1542, he expired in their arms ; not, however, " unhonored or un- 
mourned." His affectionate soldiers pronounced his eulogy ; the priests 
that accompanied the expedition chanted over his body the first requiems 
that were heard in the " Far West," and to conceal his death, his remains 
were wrapped in a mantle, to which a large stone was appended, and 
sunk at midnight in the stream. 

Thus perished Fernando De Soto ; the Governor of Cuba, the asso- 
ciate of Pizarro, and the friend and companion of princes. He had 
sought gold — obtained renown — and found a grave. The discoverer of 
the Mississippi now slept, like Attila, beneath its waters. 

" Such honors Ilion to her hero paid, 
And peaceful slept the mighty Hector's shade." 

Mcxscoso, on whom the mantle of the late governor had fallen, suc- 
ceeded De Soto in command ; and the invaders, urged on by the energy 
of their commander, no more resolved to return. Having New Spain in 
view, the question at once arose, should they seek it by descending the 
river, or by crossing the interminable forests that lay between. The lat- 
ter, as less dangerous, was adopted, and the adventurers, actuated by the 
hopes which many yet cherished, that some splendid city or empire would 
finally reward their toils, again penetrated the wilderness. In July they 
found themselves in the country of the Natchitoches ; came upon the Red 
River soon afterward, when swollen by floods so as to be impassable ; 
wandered up and down the woods under Indian guides, who designedly 
misled them ; reached the hunting-grounds of the Pawnees and Comanches 
on the confines of Mexico — got discouraged, and resolved to return. 
They at length reached the Mississippi above the mouth of the Red River ; 
erected there a forge ; collected what scraps of iron they could find in. 


camp ; made nails out of the fetters struck off from their captives — built 
a few frail barks without decks, in which they descended the Mississippi, 
and escaped finally (reduced in number to three hundred and eleven,) 
with their lives. 

Thus ended the expedition of De Soto, on the 10th of September, 1543, 
Brilliant with hope and glittering in armor, the flower of Spanish chivalry 
had embarked, intent on conquest, as gayly as a bridal part)^ " Gallant 
with silk upon silk," and after wandering amid perils and dangers, for 
nearly five years, through cane-brakes, bayous, and forests ; after losino- 
a large portion of their number, and among them some of their proudest 
nobles, they returned in extreme poverty, clad in rags and mats of Indian 

They had discovered, however, the Mississippi — had erected the stand- 
ard of Spain on its shores ; and according to the ideas which prevailed 
in that semi-barbarous age, had thus established the title of their sovereign 
to the whole of that vast region watered by its tributary streams. 

The State of Illinois became from that time forward a Spanish colony, 
and its native inhabitants, according to the views at that time prevailing, 
Avere of course vassals of the Spanish crown. 

Notwithstanding the failure of three successive expeditions against 
Florida, other adventurers, in 1546, sought permission to invade it, and 
to possess the whole country by force of arms. Their request, however, 
was denied. 

In 1547, religious zeal, under the auspices of Philip, then heir apparent 
of Spain, finally triumphed; and Louis Cancello, a missionary of the 
Dominican order, received permission to visit Florida, and attempt the 
peaceful conversion of its native population. A ship was fitted out in 
1549, with great solemnity, for that purpose, but the priests who embarked 
in the expedition being feared as enemies, fell martyrs to their zeal, and 
Florida was abandoned. It seemed then, as it has frequently done since, 
that death guarded its portals. While the Castilians were everywhere 
else victorious, Florida, wet with the blood of its invaders, v/as still un- 
polluted by their hostile tread. Not a fort was erected — -not a harbor was 
occupied — not one settlement was yet begun. 

In 1562, Admiral Coiigny of France, a Protestant, eminent for his piety, 
anxious to establish in America a refuge for the Huguenots, and disappointed 
by the apostacy of an agent in his first efforts to establish a colony in 
Brazil, under the auspices of John Calvin, the celebrated reformer; in 
connection with other influential persons, planned an expedition to Florida. 
Religious zeal, accompanied by a desire to promote the honor and glory 
of France, led unquestionably to its adoption. Its command was intrusted 
to one John Pvibault, of Dieppe ; a brave man, of great experience, and a 
decided Protestant. He was accompanied by a few veteran soldiers, and 
some of the most gallant nobility of France. The squadron sailed on the 
1st of February, 1562, made land near St. Augustine in May, and erected 
a. monumental stone, upon v.'hich he engraved the arms of France. Cast- 


ing his eyes around, and viewing with surprise and wonder the mighty 
oaks, venerable for their antiquity, which everywhere abounded — the wild 
fowl existing m great profusion — the immense groves of pine and flowers 
that perfumed the air ; and regarding the whole country as a province of 
his native land, he resolved to leave a colony, and return to France for 
reinforcements and supplies. Twenty-six colonists were therefore left to 
keep possession of a Continent. Ribault arrived in France with his ships 
in July, 1562, found a civil war then raging in all its horrors, and was 
unable, therefore, to bring out the promised reinforcements. The situa- 
tion of the colonists, in the meantime, became alarming ; the soldiers were 
insubordinate — dissensions prevailed — the commander lost his life in a 
mutiny that ensued — and the company embarked for France in a wretched 
ship, constructed of frail materials by themselves. Delighted with the 
prospect of returning home, they neglected to provide a sufficiency of 
naval stores, and were overtaken by famine at sea ; boarded by an Eng- 
lish bark, and landed, some of them in France and the residue in England. 

A transient peace between Charles IX. and the Huguenots, having 
been made in 1564, Coligny renewed his former attempt to colonize 
Florida. The king assented, three ships were set apart for the service ; 
and one Laudonniere, a man of great intelligence, appointed to command 
them. Emigrants were readily obtained — Florida was celebrated then, 
as now, for its climate and riches ; and men still dreamed of mines in 
the interior. After scouring the coasts for some time, the followers of 
Calvin located themselves upon the River May — sang psalms of thanks- 
giving in commemoration of the event, and gathered courage from acts of 
devotion. A fort was erected, and named Fort Carolina, in honor of the 
king ; and Calvinism, to all human appearance, was established on its 

The French at first were hospitably received. Their supplies, how- 
ever, were improvidently wasted — a scarcity followed, and tribute was 
indiscreetly levied upon the natives by force. Their confidence in the 
French was therefore lost for ever. They had welcomed them as guests, 
and in return the French had robbed their granaries. Mutinies became 
frequent ; and a considerable party, seeking, as they said, to escape from 
famine, compelled Laudonniere to sign an order, giving them permission 
to embark for New Spain. Possessed of this apparent sanction, they 
equipped two vessels, and began a career of piracy in the West Indian 
seas. This was the first act of hostility committed by the French against 
the Spaniards, and was immediately avenged. The pirate vessel was 
taken, and most of its crew were sold into slavery. A few, however, 
escaped, and returned to Fort Carolina, where they were arrested by 
Laudonniere, and sentenced to die. 

In the meantime, the French suffered for the want of provisions, (the 
friendship of the Indians having been forfeited by unreasonable severity,) 
the supplies and recruits expected did not arrive, and hope itself became 
nearly extinguished. While preparing to embark for Europe, Sir John 


Hawkins, the celebrated slave merchant, arrived from the West Indies, 
He had just sold a cargo of Africans, which he had kidnapped under 
extraordinary circumstances, and was now inspired with the most gea- 
erous sympathy. He supplied their wants, and tendered for their use a 
vessel from his fleet. While, however, these preparations were going 
on, Ribault returned to assume the command, and brought supplies from 
France — emigrants, with their families, garden seeds, implements of 
husbandry, and domestic animals of every kind. The French colonists, 
elated with joy, abandoned their contemplated voyage, and agreed with 
one voice to remain. It seemed as though the dominion of France was 
now established in Florida, with Calvinism for its creed. 

Spain, however, had not yet relinquished her title, though many of her 
bravest sons had fallen in the cause, and no colony had yet been estab- 
lished ; but it comported not with the dignity of Philip 11. to abandon, 
even a small territory to France, or to suffer the commercial monopoly 
of Spain to be endangered by a rival settlement, or the heresy of Calvin 
to be planted in its neighborhood. To prevent this, decisive measures 
were required. 

About this time, there appeared at the Spanish court a reckless adven- 
turer, fitted by nature and education for the task. Pedro Melendez de 
Aviles, had for a long time been accustomed to scenes of carnage. His 
natural ferocity had been improved by the infamy of his life. His big- 
otry had been nourished by a long and protracted war with the Protestants 
of Holland ; and Melendez himself, by encountering pirates, excluded 
by the law of nations from mercy, had become inured to deeds of ven- 
geance. He had acquired a fortune in Spanish America, where benevo- 
lence was seldom taught, and less frequently practiced. His conduct 
even there had provoked inquiry, which caused his arrest, and procured 
his conviction ; and the justice of his sentence was confirmed by the 
king, who knew him well, and esteemed his bravery. 

The heir of Melendez had been previously shipwrecked near Bermuda, 
and the father asked leave of his sovereign merely to return, and search 
among the islands for his only son. Philip II., however, suggested to 
him the conquest and colonization of Florida. A compact was soon 
framed, and Melendez was appointed its hereditary governor. 

By this compact, bearing date on the 20th of March, 1565, Melendez, 
at his own cost, was to invade Florida with at least five hundred men— 
to complete its conquest in three years — to explore its currents and chan- 
nels, the dangers of its coasts, and the depth of its havens — to establish 
a colony of at least five hundred persons, of whom one hundred were to 
be married men — to introduce at least twelve ecclesiastics, besides four 
Jesuits — to transport thither all kinds of domestic animals, and import 
into Florida five hundred negro slaves. 

While preparations were thus making in Spain, intelligence was re- 
ceived, through the treachery of France, that the Huguenots had made 
a settlement in Florida, and that Ribault was preparing to sail thither. 


The cry was immediately raised that all heretics must be extirpated. 
Fanaticism lent its aid, and the ranks of Melendez were immediately 
filled. More than two thousand five hundred persons — soldiers, sailors, 
priests, Jesuits, married men, with their families, laborers and mechanics ; 
and, with the exception of two hundred soldiers, all at the cost of Melen- 
dez, embarked. After some delay, occasioned by a storm, and encoun- 
terinor on his passage a tempest, which scattered his fleet, he arrived at 
Porto Rico on the 9th of August, 1565, with about one-third of his forces. 
He sailed for Florida without waiting for the residue, and on the 28th 
came upon its coast. On the 2nd of September, he discovered a fine har- 
bor and a beautiful river, into which he entered, and gathered from the 
natives some account of the Huguenots. The 28th of August having 
been consecrated to the memory of one of the most eloquent and vene- 
rated fathers of the church, a son of Africa, and Bishop of Carthage, he 
gave to the harbor and stream the name of St. Augustine. Sailing north, 
he discovered the French fleet, lying at anchor, and in answer to a 
demand made by the Frei>ch commander, of his name and objects, he 
replied : 

'•' I am Melendez, of Spain, sent hither with strict orders from the king, 
to gibbet and behead all Protestants in these regions. The Frenchman, 
who is a Catholic, I will spare — every heretic shall die." 

The French, unprepared for action, cut their cables and fled. Melen- 
dez thereupon returned to the harbor of St. Augustine, and arrived there 
on the evening of the 7th, preceding the festival of the nativity of the 
blessed Virgin. On the following day, (September 8th, 1565.) at noon, 
he went on shore, and took possession of the whole Continent in the name 
of his king, and proclaimed Philip II. of Spain, monarch of North Amer- 
ica. A solemn mass was performed, and the foundation of St. Augustine, 
(the oldest town in the United States,) was immediately laid. This took 
place m.ore than forty years before any eflectual settlement was made in 
Virginia ; and houses, it is said, are now standing in St. Augustine, 
erected before any French or English settlement was made upon the 

Melendez had no sooner landed and performed the usual ceremones 
on such occasions, than, with an indifference to toil that ever marked his 
character, he led his troops through lakes, marshes and forests, to St. 
John's, where he surprised the French governor — anticipating, and of 
course fearing no danger, except from toward the sea ; aud massacred 
in cold blood, men, women and children, about two hundred in all — the 
old and the young, the sick in their beds, and the soldier in armor, A 
few, and among them, Laudonniere, escaped to the woods — death, how- 
ever, met them there. It seemed as though Heaven and earth, the sea 
and the savage, had conspired against them. A part surrendered to the 
Spaniards, and were immediately murdered ; others found their way to 
the coast; after enduring the severest hardships, and were received on 
board a French vessel, remaining in the harbor j and the Spaniards, 


angry that any should escape, vented their nnalignant fury upon the 
bodies of the slain. 

' This massacre took place on the 21st of September, 1565, on the fes- 
tival of St Matthew. The slaughter being completed, religious services 
were performed, a cross was raised, and the site of a church selected 
on ground yet smoking with human gore. 

Those who had escaped being shipwrecked on the coast, were soon 
discovered. Wasted by fatigues at sea, and half famished for want of 
food, they were invited by Melendez to rely on his mercy. They ac- 
cordingly surrendered ; and as they stepped on shore, their hands were 
tied behind them, and they were thus driven to St. Augustine, like sheep 
to a slaughter-house. As they approached the fort, a signal was given, 
the trumpet was sounded, and the Spaniards fell upon them ; disarmed, 
and unable to resist — with the exception of a few Catholics, who were 
spared, and a fev/ mechanics, who were reserved as slaves — all were 
massacred, "not as Frenchmen, but as Lutherans." About nine hun- 
dred, including those who had previously been slain, were thus sacrificed 
on the altar of religious zeal. It was before the massacre of St. Bar- 
tholomews, in France, and partook strongly of its character. 

The French government, equally bigoted with that of Spain, heard of 
the outrage, and listened to its horrid details with heartless indifference. 
Not even a remonstrance v/as made. The nation, however, awoke to 
vengeance, and the Fluguenots especially, felt the wound in every pore. 

There lived at that time in Gascony, a bold and reckless soldier, whose 
life had been a series of adventures. His name was Dominic de Gour- 
guis. He was at one time a private in the army of France ; at another, 
a prisoner and galley-slave in Spain. He was taken by the Turks, sold 
as a captive, and redeemed from thence by the commander of the Knights 
of Malta. He had now returned to his native province, and burned for 
revenge. The honor of his country, and his own — the blood of his 
slaughtered relatives, and the cries of his persecuted brethren, called 
aloud for vengeance. Having sold his property in France, and received 
contributions from his friends, he fitted out three ships, in which he em- 
barked for Florida, accompanied by one hundred and fifty gallant men. 
A favorable breeze soon wafted him thither. He landed immediately, 
and surprised two Spanish forts near the mouth of the St. Mattheo ; and 
.as terror magnified his numbers, and courage and revenge both nerved 
his arm, he was enabled to get possession, almost without a struggle, of 
the principal fort, near the spot where his friends and relatives had pre- 
viously been massacred. Too weak to maintain his position, he weighed 
anchor immediately for Europe, having first hanged all his prisoners 
upon the trees, and placed over them this inscription : '•' I do not this as 
unto Spaniards, but as unto traitors, robbers and murderers." 

The Indians, who had suffered much from the French and Spaniards 
both, looked on with delight, and seemed to enjoy the spectacle. 


The attack of the fiery Gascon was but a passing storm. Charles IX. 
disowned the expedition, and abandoned all pretensions to Florida. Spain, 
in the meantime, seized, and grappled it to her bosom ; and if its first 
discovery conferred a right, her claim, unquestionably, was just. Not 
only Florida, but North America itself, was thenceforward annexed to 
the Spanish crown, smd thus included within her empire. 


The amount paid by Atahualpa for his ransom, may be collected from the following 
facts, stated by Robertson : " The apartment in which the Inca was confined, was twenty- 
two feet in length, and sixteen in breadth. This he undertook to fill with vessels of gold 
as high as he could reach ; and a line was drawn upon the waUs of the chamber, to mark 
the stipulated height to which the treasure was to rise. It amounted to eight thousand 
pesos, (equal in effective value, to as many pounds Stirling,) to each horseman, and half 
that sum to each foot soldier ; and to the officers, dividends in proportion to the dignity of 
their rank. These wages of iniquity, the spoils of an innocent people, procured by deceit, 
extortion and cruelty, were distributed with religious rites, on the festival of St. James, 
the patron Saint of Spain ; and Atahualpa, after a mock trial, and receiving baptism, was 
strangled by order of Pizarro. The spoils of Cusco, probably exceeded the amount re- 
ceived for Atahualpa's ransom." 


Colonization of Virginia — English and Dutch settlements, how material — Heniy VII. 
— John Cabot — Sebastian Cabot — Henry VIII. — Queen EUzabeth — Attempts to dis- 
cover the northwest passage — Sir Humphrey Gilbert — Martin Frobisher — Sir Fran- 
cis Drake — English commerce and fisheries^ — Sir Walter Raleigh — His attempts to 
colonize North Carolina — Its failure — London Company — Its char(er — lames I. — 
John Smith — Captain Newport — James Town settled — Powhattan — Poq||iioiit^^ — 
John Rolfe — Lord Delaware — Sir Thomas Dale — Sir Thomas Gates — Petition to 
Parliament for aid, rejected — Charter amended — Yeardly appointed captain-general 
— First colonial Assembly — Sir Edwin Sandye — Young ladies sent to Virginia — 
Earl of Southampton — Virginia freedom. 

While the Spaniards, (despising the petty, range of Europe, as too 
limited for their ambition,) were pursuing a career of glory in South 
America — without regard to principle — that cast other nations in the 
shade, and every sea, and coast, and island, was resounding with their 
fame ; England was neither inattentive to, nor entirely regardless of, the 
passing scene. No sooner had Columbus announced the discovery of 
another world, whose sands it was said sparkled with gold, than Eng- 
land, France, and Holland, saw in prospect the glittering bait, and felt 
new energies within. Their exertions, however, in comparison with 
those of Spain, were at first tardy and ineffective. 

The history of the English and Dutch settlements upon the Atlantic 
coast, is important here, because it furnishes matter for serious reflection. 
It is from thence that we are principally descended ; our population, with 
the exception of a few persons from abroad, who have recently migrated 
hither, is made up of eastern and southern emigrants. Our laws and our 
religion, our habits, our mode of thinking and rules of action, our code 
of morals and political sentiments, are from them mostly derived. An 
attempt, therefore, to write the history of Illinois, without adverting to 
the pilgrims of New-England, the burghers of New Amstei'dam, the plan, 
ters of Virginia, and to others who, at an early day, settled on the At- 
lantic rivers and bays, would be like the attempt of a lawyer to recover 
in ejectment without producing his patent. Although a title may, in law, 
be presumed, and frequently is so, by the lapse of time, the production 
of the title-deeds is always desirable, and courts and jurors are unwilling 
to presume what is capable of direct and positive proof. 

Every citizen in this country being regarded as a sovereign, and his 
patent derived from the King of Kings, no one need blush for his origin, 
although a pilgrim, a burgher, or a planter, may have been his ancestor. 
We are not, then, called upon to vindicate the American character from 


injurious aspersions ; nor, because our origin is unpretending, is it from 
thence to be inferred that our 

" Ignoble blood 
Has crept through scoundrels, ever since the flood." 

There is also another point of view from which the colonies of England 
and Holland may be seen to advantage, and this renders their early his- 
tory exceedingly instructive. The principles of the American Revolu- 
tion were early implanted there. The germ of independence, in thought, 
word, and deed, soon after their establishment, took deep and enduring 
root in their soil; and the capacity of man for self-government was, at au 
early day, tlfus partially tested. Their origin, progress, principles and 
ho^s, %.en, are essentially ours, and therefore legitimate subjects of con- 

When the American Continent was discovered by Columbus, the " wars 
of the Roses'"' had ceased, and Henry VII., during whose reign the great 
discoverer had opened new and unexplored worlds to European cupidity, 
was undisputed " lord of the isles." By his prudent severity, the industry 
and tranquillity of England had been restored. Her ports were then 
filled with Lombard adventurers ; her nautical skill had been tested in 
every sea, and her northern fisheries, and her intercourse with Iceland, 
had made her seamen familiar with storms. 

The achievement of Columbus, '•' more divine than human,'"' having 
kindled a desire in her mariners to tread in his footsteps, and gather 
laurels in other seas ; and the politic King of England, willing to repair 
the error he had committed, in refusing to patronize an expedition which 
had reflected so much honor on the Spanish crown and king; and desirous 
also, as it was said, to share with his subjects in the profits of mercantile 
adventure ; John Cabot, a Venetian merchant, then residing at Bristol, had 
no great difficulty in bringing the English monarch into his views. He 
accordingly submitted to the king a plan of discovery which met his ap- 
probation, " Being the most ancient American state-paper of England. 
in existence," and being, also, in other respects, an extraordinary docu- 
ment, it deserves a moment's attention. 

On the 5th of March, 1496, John Cabot obtained from the king a patent, 
empowering him and his three sons, (of whom Sebastian Cabot, afterward 
the celebrated navigator, was one,) their heirs, and assigns, to sail in 
the eastern, v/estern, and northern seas, with a fleet of five ships, at their 
own proper expense and charges ; to search for islands, provinces and 
regions, before unseen by Christian people ; to affix the banner of Eng- 
land on any city, island or continent, that they should discover, and, as 
vassals of the English crown, to possess and occupy the same. The 
patentees (and their successors, of course,) were required to land at 
Bristol, and pay to the king a fifth part of all the profits realized from 
each adventure ; and the exclusive right of visiting and trading with the ■ 
countries to be thus discovered, was reserved in the same grant, uncon- 


ditionally, to the Cabots and their family for ever. Under this patent, 
John Cabot and his son Sebastian embarked for the west, and discovered 
the Continent of North America on the 24th of June, 1497, near Labra- 
dor, in latitude 56° north. This was some time before Columbus, in his 
third voyage, came in sight of the Continent, and two years before Ame- 
rigo Vespucci sailed west of the Canaries. It seems, then, that the 
American Continent was first discovered by a Bristol merchant, without 
any aid or assistance whatever from the crown. Although the Cabots 
derived little or no benefit from the expedition, England acquired a title 
to North America, which she afterward successfully asserted. The fact 
of its having been first seen by a Bristol mariner, from the deck of a 
vessel bearing her flag, though fitted out for pi'ivate adventure, conferring, 
in the opinion of a British Parliament, (after the Reformation,) a better 
title than the grant of a Roman pontiff". 

John Cabot having made, as he supposed, an important discovery, hast- 
ened home without landing on its coast, to announce his success ; and on 
the 3rd of February, 1498, a new patent was issued, and another voyage 
undertaken by Sebastian Cabot, for purposes of traffic, in which the frugal 
king became a partner. Sebastian Cabot was a man of great benevolence 
and courtesy, daring in conception, and patient in execution. He guided," 
for more than half a century, the commercial enterprise of Europe with 
the western Continent. Having, in his second voyage, arrived upon the 
coast of Labrador, in latitude 58° north, he was induced by the severity 
of the climate to sail to the south, and did so, as far as Maryland, and 
thence he returned, for want of provisions, directly to England. At a 
subsequent period, he received the title of pilot-major from Charles V., 
and was much applauded by the Spaniards for his achievements and 
skill. He also advanced the commerce of England, on his return thither, 
and after a life of peril, was gathered to his fathers in extreme old age. 
Although he had given a Continent to his adopted country, such was the 
ingratitude of its monarch, that "the old veteran seaman," the hero of a 
thousand storms, was buried somewhere, it is said, in England, but where 
is still uncertain. No monument marks the spot where " the hero was 

Adventures without profit soon languished ; and during the reign of 
Henry VIIL, scarce anything in the way of discovery was effected — 
Henry and his celebrated minister. Cardinal Woolsey, having other busi- 
ness in hand : a few efforts, it is true, were made, but none deserving of 

A new era, however, was approaching. English commerce was about 
to burst its fetters, and English valor to display its glory. Her sailors 
no longer feared the heat and fevers of the south, nor the cold and ice- 
bergs of the north ; and her merchants sought competition in every clime. 
The restraints imposed by religion — the ambition which avarice had 
inspired — and a desire for strange adventures, which had engrossed the 
thoughts of the high, the low, and the brave, having previously driven the 


boldest and most daring spirits of Castile to the newly-discovered world 
in search of fame, and fortune ; and their deeds being recorded by Span- 
ish historians, and now emblazoned forth in England, in consequence of 
the matrimonial alliance contracted between Philip of Spain, and Mary, 
Queen of England, induced the merchants and mariners of the latter, to 
vie with those of the former on the ocean and the land — the marriage of 
Philip and Mary having tended, as it undoubtedly did, to excite the emu- 
lation it was intended to check. 

The firmness of Elizabeth, aided in a great degree the efforts of her 
subjects ; and the ascendency of the Protestant religion, unquestionably 
completed what she had begun. The celebrated Armada having been 
defeated, the hopes and expectations of the Spanish monarch were checked 
for a time, and England (no longer the ally, but the antagonist of Philip,) 
aspired to be mistress of the northern seas. She therefore strengthened 
her navy — filled her arsenals — and encouraged the builduig of ships. 
Her privateers soon visited the harbors of Spanish America in hostile 
array, and the rich galleons of Spain, laden with extorted treasures, 
decorated her ports. 

The discovery of a northwest passage to India, or Cathay, as it was 
"then called, having excited considerable attention, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, 
reposing from the toils of war, wrote a treatise upon the subject, which 
met with universal favor. Martin Frobisher, in 1576, followed in his 
wake, esteeming it, as he quaintly observes, '• the only thing of the world 
that was yet left undone, by which a notable mind might be made famous 
and fortunate." Too poor to fit out an expedition at his own expense, he 
sought aid of his friends — tendered his services to merchants, and finally 
to his sovereign, but all in vain. Dudley, Earl of Warwick, at last pro- 
moted his design, and fitted out a squadron for that purpose, consisting of 
three vessels, (if such they could be called,) one of twenty-five tons, 
one of twenty, and a pinnace of ten tons. With this humble armament, 
Frobisher was to traverse unknown seas, and to battle with storms. As 
he dropped down the Thames, on the 8th of June, 1576, Queen Elizabeth 
"■ waved her hand in token of favor ;" and the admiral, standing on the 
deck of his flag-ship of twenty-five tons, responded to his sovereign, (who 
had not advanced a shilling to defray the expenses,) and departed in 
quest of other worlds. The pinnace, overtaken by a storm, was swal- 
lowed up by the sea. The commander of the Michael became terrified 
and returned ; and the brave old admiral was left to pursue his voyage 
alone. After enduring hardships apparently incredible, he arrived on 
the coast of Labrador, entered the bay now called Frobisher's Bay, took 
possession cf the country in the name of his sovereign, erected the stand- 
ard of England on its coast, gathered stones and rubbish from the shore, 
seized one of the natives for exhibition on his return, and arrived safely 
in England. This is the most extraordinary, well-attested, naval expedi- 
tion on record. 


America and its mines were now associated together. The stones 
brought by Frobisher from the north, being examined by the refiners of 
London, were said to be impregnated with gold. The avarice of the 
English nation was at once roused to activity, and some citizens of Lon- 
don applied to Elizabeth for a lease of this northern El Dorado. A fleet 
was fitted out immediately to bring home the precious metal, and Eliza- 
beth, who had contributed nothing as yet to the expense, sent a large ship 
of her own to join the expedition. Having reached the northeastern 
coast of America, their danger became imminent. Mountains of ice en- 
compassed them on every side. The light, however, reflecting from 
floating icebergs, enabled them so to direct their course, as to avoid the 
most imminent perils ; and the mariners, agitated sometimes by hope and 
sometimes by fear, now looking for death, and now for gold, escaped at 
length with their lives ; and by incessant toil, in which the admiral par- 
ticipated in common with the meanest sailor, loaded their fleet with a 
large quantity of useless earth, and returned to England. The spirit of 
adventure was now excited to its highest pitch, and a magnificent fleet of 
fifteen sail, was fitted out, partly at the expense of Elizabeth. The sons 
of some of the English gentry embarked as volunteers. Some were cho- 
sen to form a colony, destined to vie with Mexico and Peru, in a region 
which produced neither tree nor shrub ; and twelve vessels were ordered 
to return immediately with ore. As the fleet approached the northeastern 
coast, it got bewildered amid the icebergs, and afterward lost in the fog. 
One vessel was crushed and sunk — the zeal of volunteer colonists abated 
— one ship laden with provisions deserted and returned — and the sailors, 
disheartened and being ready to mutiny, the settlement was abandoned. 
They freighted, however, a ship with mineral from an island they dis- 
covered, and like other foolish projectors, contrived to conceal their loss. 
The historians of the expedition are silent as to the disposition of the 
cargo, and the whole affair was consigned promptly to oblivion. It had, 
however, a salutary effect. Avarice was rebuked, and the belief of 
golden regions among the Esquimaux, dissipated at once and for ever. 

While Frobisher was threading his way among icebergs, " getting in 
at one gap and out at another," Francis Drake, afterward Sir Francis 
Drake, was acquiring fame and fortune as a freebooter in the Spanish 
harbors of South America. Although his career was little else than 
splendid piracy, and Oxhenham, a subordinate officer who had ventured 
to imitate his master, was taken by the Spaniards and hanged without 
exciting a murmur in England, (his sentence being considered perfectly 
just,) Drake continued, by the magnitude of his exploits, (saying nothing 
of their character,) to encircle his name with a halo of glory. Its effects 
however upon commerce were exceedingly injurious. The minds of 
sailors became debased, by a passion for sudden, unexpected, and un- . 
earned acquisitions. The receipt of regular wages seemed base and 
unmanly, when, by hazarding life only, boundless plunder awaited their 
bidding. Commerce, like every other species of business, is in fact most 


prosperous, when dependent upon regular industry, and the mines which 
exalt a nation most, are those near its surface. 

The English fisheries about this time (1578,) became exceedingly im- 
portant. As nurseries of seamen, their value was immense. They pre- 
pared the way too for permanent settlements. While Elizabeth and her 
partners in the slave-trade, (Sir John Hawkins and others,) and in piracy, 
(Sir Francis Drake and others,) in the pr6fits of whose adventures, we 
are told she participated, were dazzled by the glittering prospects before 
them, Sir Humphrey Gilbert was forming extensive plans for permanent 
colonization. He stood high in the army ; he had also been a soldier of 
rank, and a member of Parliament. He was an able writer, and esteemed 
for his piety. Having obtained a patent from the crown, according to the 
commercial theories which prevailed in that day, giving him and his as- 
signs a right to the soil within two hundred leagues of his settlement, with 
executive and legislative powers both civil and criminal, he collected a 
company of volunteer adventurers, defraying the expenses principally 
himself, and put to sea. One of his ships was lost, and the residue were 
compelled by a contest with the Spaniards to return. Being too much 
impoverished to renew the attempt, his patent and settlement, after divers 
ineffectual struggles, were finally abandoned. 

About the time of De Gourgis's return from chastising Spanish bigotry 
and insolence in Florida, a young gentleman by the name of Raleigh, 
left the University of Oxford, to participate in the wars of France ; and 
with the young and ardent Prince of Navarre, afterward Henry the IV., 
studied the art of war, under the veteran Coligny. The Protestants 
were then excited at the massacre which De Gourgis had avenged ; 
and some of those unfortunate men who had escaped, having been landed 
by Sir John Hawkins upon the English coast, found their way into the 
presence of Elizabeth. The gentleman above referred to, was no other 
than the celebrated Sir Walter Raleigh, a step-brother of Sir Humphrey 
Gilbert. Young, handsome, and brave — the favorite of Elizabeth — a 
scholar, a soldier, and a patriot ; he had returned a short time before 
from the Continent, and was now basking in the sunshine of imperial' 
favor. His active genius delighted in adventure ; and the New World 
spread its charms before him. To lay the foundation of new states, and 
thus extend the dominions of his sovereign, were objects, as he thought, 
worthy of ambition. He sighed for renown, and at the same time, burned 
for vengeance. The rich galleons of Spain, may have passed in his 
sunny moments before him ; or the renown of his early friend and com- 
panion, Sir Francis Drake, may have troubled and perplexed his thoughts. 

In 1583, he equipped a fleet at his own expense, and gave the com- 
mand of it to his step-brother. Sir Humphrey Gilbert, who, on his de- 
parture, received from Elizabeth a golden anchor, guided by a lady, as a 
token of her regard. The expedition sailed under fortunate omens, and 
a colony might, perhaps, have been established in America, but for the 
misfortunes by which the projector was overwhelmed. Gilbert having 


sailed for Newfoundland, entered the harbor of St. John, and summoned 
the Spaniards, Portuguese, and other strangers there, to witness the cere- 
monies by which he took possession of the country ; erected a monument 
with the arms of England upon it ; granted lands to the fishermen in fee, 
on the payment of quit-rent ; freighted his largest ship in secret, " with 
the precious ore," and embarked for England. Intending to visit the 
coast of the United States, he sailed to the south. His largest ship was 
wrecked by the carelessness of its crew, and nearly a hundred men, 
with all the " mineral" were lost. His seamen, little better than pirates, 
were continually bent on pillaging every vessel that fell in their way ; 
the " morals of the sea" at that time, being imperfectly understood, and 
judging from facts, rather carelessly practiced. It was, therefore, no 
easy matter to preserve order in such a fleet, and Gilbert was thus com- 
pelled to hasten his return. - The general" (Sir Humphrey Gilbert,) 
himself, sailed in the Squirrel, a bark of ten tons, in order to approach 
near the coast, ascertain its bearings, and explore its harbors ; and being 
unwilling to forsake the little company v/ith whom he had encountered 
so many storms, he attempted in this frail bark, scarcely superior to the 
long-boat of a merchantman, to cross the vast Atlantic. The sea was 
rough, the winds were high, and the oldest mariners had rarely witnessed 
the like. The little bark bore up manfully for a while, but was too 
small "to pass through the ocean-sea at that time of year;" and when 
last seen, the general was sitting abaft with a book in his hand, crying 
out to those in another vessel that followed in his wake, " We are as near 
to Heaven by sea as by land." The same night, a little before twelve 
o'clock, the lights of the Squirrel suddenly disappeared, and neither 
vessel nor crew were heard of more. 

Raleigh, having determined to secure, at all events, those dehghtful re- 
gions to England, from which the French Pi-otestants had been expelled, 
was neither disheartened b}' the fate of his step-brother, nor appalled by 
the magnitude of the undertaking. His bold and enterprising ?pirit never 
despaired." He therefore, on the 25th of March, 1584, obtained from the 
crown a patent as ample as the one conferred on Gilbert By its terms, 
Raleigh was constituted lord proprietor, with almost :mlimJted power. 
The icy seas were at once exchanged for regions of perpetual fertility;, 
and two vessels laden with men and pi'ovisions, ivider the command of 
Philip Amidas and Arthur Barlow, buoyant ^*'ith hope, sailed for the 
newly discovered world, and on the 18th of J^uly, 1584, landed on the 
coast of North Carolina. The whole crew »v'ere enraptured by its beauty. 
The trees had nowhere else their equ-al- The vines clambered up the 
loftiest cedars, and grapes hung in festoons from every bough. The 
ocean, scarcely disturbed by a ripple, rolled its lazy surges " in upon the 
shore, and dashed its spray upon the clusters." The tawny inhabitants 
appeared in harmony with the scene, and welcomed their newly arrived 
guests, or invaders, after the manner of the golden age. Amidas and 
Barlow explored the country in part, and returned to England in Sep- 

6 . .. 


tember ; and gave such a description of the country as might have been 
expected from men who had done nothing but sail over the smooth waters 
of a summer sea, among the hundred islands of North Carolina. Eliz- 
abeth heard their reports with rapture, and named the country Virginia. 
Raleigh, having been elected a member of Parliament from the county 
of Devon, in December, 1584. procured the passage of a bill confirming 
his patent ; and in the following year, one hundred and eight colonists 
landed on the shores of Carolina. Sir Ralph Lane, a man of some dis- 
tinction, afterward knighted by the queen, acted as governor of the 
colony, under Raleigh ; and Sir Richard Grenville, the most celebrated 
of Raleigh's assistants, commanded the expedition. Several men of dis- 
tinction, and among them, Cavendish, who afterward circumnavigated 
the globe, with Herriot, the inventor of the system of notation in Algebra, 
and Withe, an ingenious painter, accompanied the expedition. 

While exploring the country, they w^re entertained by the savages 
with great hospitality. During their excursion, however, a silver cup 
was stolen. The natives were charged with the theft, and its restoration 
being delayed, Grenville, with inconsiderate cruelty, ordered the village 
be burnt, and the standing corn to be destroyed. Grenville, on his 
return, captured a rich Spanish prize, which secured to him a courteous 
reception, and silenced all inquiries. 

The natives, in the meantime, wished their unwelcome visitors afar off, 
and divers plans were formed for their removal, one of which was, to 
leave their fields unplanted. The English supposed, and many of them, 
perhaps, believed, that a conspiracy was preparing. They thereupon 
sought an audience with their king, Wingena ; and although no hostile 
intentions were apparent, at a signal preconcerted between them, fell 
upon him and his attendants, and put them all to death without mercy. 

The emigrants here, for the first time, observed the culture of tobacco, 
and accustomed themselves to its use, and many of them were believers 
in its healir^g virtues. Sir Walter Raleigh being popular at court, after- 
ward introduced it there, and its use became fashionable. The potatoe 
was also found teve in profusion, and was taken from thence to England, 
and cultivated for+he first time, with success. 

On further examistation, other ports than the one they occupied were 
supposed to be preferaUe, and Chesapeake Bay was already looked upon 
as a fit theatre for operations. The colonists began in a short time to 
despond — their supplies fruia England, though long expected, were not 
received ; and many sighed foi the luxuries of home. In the meantime, 
Sir Francis Drake, on his way frcro the West Indies to England, came 
hither to visit the domain of his friervd ; he found the colonists distressed 
for want of provisions, and impatient to return. At their unanimous 
desire, he took them on board his fleet, and cari'ied them to England. 
Raleigh had previously dispatched a vessel to their relief, laden with ne- 
cessary stores. It found, however, this '-'paradise of the world " deserted, 
and sailed immediately for England. • Sir Richard Grenville soon afl:er- 


ward arrived upon the coast, and searched for the colony, but in vain. 
Unwilling, however, to return without leaving a guardian to protect the 
rights of England, he stationed fifteen men on the Island of Roanoke, to 
keep possession of a whole Continent. Notwithstanding the desertion of 
Lane and his little colony, new emigrants were readily found, and an- 
other vessel prepared ^t the expense of Raleigh, in which men with their 
wives and families embarked. The company was now cheered, for the 
first time, with the presence of women. They carried also implements 
of husbandry, indications of futui'e industry. Having arrived on the' 
coast of North Carolina, in July, 1587, they repaired immediately to the 
Island of Roanoke, and located themselves. They then sought for the 
brave men whom Grenville had left, but found the tenements aH deserted. 
Human bones were found in the fields, and wild deer were reposing in 
the untenanted houses ; but no vestige of the former colony remained. 
Soon after their landing, difficulties thickened. A detachment of the 
English, seeing a party of Indians sitting fearlessly around their fire;; at 
night, and supposing they were enemies, took them by surprise, and be- 
fore the error was detected, a large portion of their number were cruelly 
massacred. The Indians became hostile. The emigrants, like (hose 
who had preceded them, became gloomy and discontented — conscious of 
their dependence on Europe, they urged the governor, John White, to re- 
turn for reinforcements and supplies. He returned accordingly — his 
daughter, who had married one of the magistrates of the colony, by the 
name of Dare, previous to his departure had given birth to an infant, the 
first child born of English parents in the United States. The infant was 
named from the place of its birth, Virginia Dare. White, by the gene- 
rosity of Raleigh, was dispatched thither with supplies, in two vessels. 
Preferring, however, a gainful rather than a safe voyage, he departed 
from his course in pursuit of prizes — fell in. with a Spanish man-of-war, 
and was boarded and rifled of all he had. This delay proved fatal to the 
colony ; the poor exiles were forgotten till the " Invincible Armada " was 
discomfited ; during which time, the colonists, despairing of success, 
awaited death in the land of their adoption. Although Raleigh, at his 
own charge on five different occasions, sent vessels thither for the rem- 
nant of his colony, no vestiges of their existence were found, and ima- 
gination received no aid from his efforts to learn their fate. 

He had expended, already, forty thousand pounds, equal at the present 
time, in consequence of a difference in the value of money, to almost a 
million of dollars, in his attempts to colonize a country which was to have 
-owned him for its lord. His fame belongs, therefore, to American his- 
lory. No English statesman of the age, possessed so many extraordi- 
nary qualities. His glory, in the professiou of arms, was unrivalled. 
The conquest of Cadiz, and capture of Fayal, would alone have estab- 
lished his fame. He was distinguished in life for his valor, and in 
death for his magnanimity. Languishing in prison, and with a sentence 
of death suspended over him, he plunged into the depths of learning and 



composed a history of the world. His perseverance was never baffled 
by losses, nor did his interests in the destinies of America ever suffer 
diminution. Broken-hearted and impoverished, his sentence, originally 
unjust, which had slumbered for fifteen years, was revived, and he was 
finally beheaded in the reign of James I., his heart still beating with an 
undying love for his country. 

While the ineffectual measures to colonize America, above referred to, 
were in progress, England was undergoing a revolution at home, the ef- 
fects of which in a short time were to be felt throughout the globe. The 
reformation in religion, which had previously interrupted the harmony of 
the west of Europe, had now acquired a political character. Commerce, 
Avhich had hitherto been confined to the " narrow seas," had burst forth 
upon the ocean. The East Indies had been reached by doubling the 
Cape of Good Hope. The art of printing had been diffused, and the fa- 
cilities of instruction multiplied a thousand fold. The feudal institu- 
tions reared in a barbarous age, were now tottering to their fall. Pro- 
ductive industry had built up fortunes, and extended the influence of the 
active classes, while habits of indolence and expense had impoverished 
the estates, and diminished of course the power of the feudal barons. 

The objects of navigation, too, had changed. Columbus sought a pas- 
sage to India ; the amassing of gold became next the prevailing motive ; 
the culture of luxuries, which tropical regions alone supply, came next 
in order ; to form new states — to plant new colonies, and to establish for 
the oppressed places of refuge, and for the enterprising permanent 
abodes, became at length objects of national importance. To these pub- 
lic attention was now directed, and the situation of England favored the 
design. ' ■ 

A redundant population then existed ; the timid character of James I., 
who had thrown out of employment the gallant men who had served 
Elizabeth by sea and land, left them no other alternative but to engage 
as mercenaries in the quarrels of strangers, or incur the risk of seek- 
ing new homes in a wilderness partially explored. The minds of many 
persons of intelligence, rank and enterprise, became therefore directed 
to Virginia ; and the king, too timid to be active, and yet too vain and 
conceited to be indifferent, at this time favored the plan. 

Twelve degrees of latitude on the American coast, from Cape Fear 
to Halifax, were set apart to be colonized by two rival companies. The 
first consisted of noblemen, gentlemen and merchants, in and about Lon- 
don ; the second, of knights, gentlemen and merchants, in the west of 
England, principally of Bristol and Plymouth. The London adventurers 
were to occupy the regions between the 34th and 38th degrees of latitude, 
that is, from Cape Fear to the southern limit of Maryland ; the Plymouth 
company between the 41st and 45th degrees of latitude, and the interme- 
diate district was open to the competition of both. Each was to possess 
the soil for fifty miles north and south of its first settlement, so that nei- 
ther could plant or come in competition with its rival. The conditions of 


tenure were homage and rent; the rent was no other than one-fifth of the 
nett produce of gold and silver, and one-fifteenth of copper. The super- 
intendence of the whole colonial system was confided to a council in 
England, and the local administration to a council residing within its 
- limits. The members of the superior council were appointed exclu- 
sively by the king, and the tenure of their otfice was his own good plea- 
sure. The king also had a control over the colonial councils, their num- 
bers, from time to time, being appointed and removed accordino- to his 
instructions. Superior legislative authority, and also minute reo-ulations, 
were reserved to the monarch. A hope was also at that time cherished 
of a revenue, to be derived from a duty to be levied on vessels trading 
thither, after the lapse of twenty-one years. To the emigrants, it v/as 
promised that they and their children should continue to be Englishmen. 
This, of course, secured their rights on returning to England, but erected 
no barrier against colonial injustice. 

It will thus be seen, that the first charter of a permanent colony in 
America, gave to a mercantile company a desert territory occupied by 
savages — with the rights of peopling and defending it at their own 
expense. That the crown of England had done nothing, as yet, toward 
its discovery or colonization ; that the monarch reserved to himself ex- 
clusive legislation ; the control of all appointments, and the hone of a 
future revenue. To the emigrants nothing was given, not even the right 
of self-government ; they were subjected to the ordinances of a commer- 
cial corporation, of which they could not be members ; to the dominion 
of a domestic council, in the appointment of which they had no choice ; 
to the control of a superior council in England, which had no sympathy 
with their rights ; and, finally, to the arbitrary legislation of the sove- 
reign. Not one element of popular liberty was introduced into its form 
of government.- Religion, according to the rites of the church of Eng- 
land, was especially enjoined, and no emigrant was permitted to with- 
draw his allegiance from King James, or even dissent from the royal 
creed. Kindness to the savages was enjoined, and it v.-as further and un- 
wisely ordered, that the industry and commerce of the respective colo- 
nies should, for five years, be conducted on the principles of a joint-stock 
association. The king also reserved to himself the right of further legis- 

Such were the outlines of the first English colonial establishment in 
North America, destined in a few years to excite the admiration, and at 
a period not far remote, without intending it, to convulse the globe. Many 
of its regulations, we are told, emanated from King James himself, the 
" stinted pedant," who at that time wielded the English sceptre. 

On the 19th day of December, 1606, one hundred and five nien (no 
women,) destined to remain, embarked for Virginia in three vessels under 
the command of Captain Newport. On the list of emigrants there were 
but twelve laborers, and a few merchants. There were forty-eight gen- 
tlemen and four carpenters. They were going into a wilderness, where 


as yet no house was standing, and where the whole country was still 
clothed in nature's drapery. Well might John Smith, (afterward so cele- 
brated in colonial annals,) at a subsequent period, say to his employers : 
" I entreat you, when you send next, to send thirty carpenters, husband- 
men, gardeners, fishermen, blacksmiths, masons, and diggers-up of trees'- 
roots, well provided, rather than a thousand such as we have.'' 

Among the emigrants was a Mr. Percy, a brother of the Earl of North- 
umberland, and several officers who had served with reputation in the 
preceding reign. Bartholomew Gosnold, also, one of the principal pro- 
jectors of the colony, a man of real merit, and worthy of perpetual re- 
membrance in the plantation, accompanied the expedition. But the most 
remarkable of them all was the celebrated John Smith, whose deliberate 
enterprise and cheerful courage, diffiised light and joy amid surrounding 
gloom. •■'■!-' • ' 

During the voyage dissensions arose, in consequence of the foolish and 
imprudent order, that the names and instructions of the council should be 
sealed up and put into a box, which was not to be opened until the squad- 
ron should arrive on the American coast. As no competent authority 
existed to check the progress of disorder, each emigrant received, as in 
case of a fire, the consideration due to his personal merits. Smith, al- 
though but thirty years of age, was already a veteran in the cause of 
humanity and Christendom. Brought up amid peril, and callous to its 
agony, versed in the great book of human nature, for he was acquainted with 
no other, and this he had studied with great attention " 'mid Afric's sands 
and polar snows ;" he left his competitors, the descendants of nobles, the 
companions of princes, far behind ; and as perils threatened, he rose grad- 
ually into favor. His rise, however, excited jealousy, (the thii'st for 
dominion not having yet ceased among this little band of exiles,) and he 
was charged with sedition, deposed, or rather excluded from the council, 
as they had a rigbt to do, and shortly imprisoned . 

The squadron under Captain Newport, arrived off" the coast in April, 
1607, and entered Chesapeake Bay, between Cape Henry and Cape 
Charles — so named from Henry, prince of Wales, a youth of great pro- 
mise, who died soon thereafter, and Charles, the second son of James, 
afterward King Charles the First, who was beheaded — and finding deep 
water for anchoring, which " putting the emigrants in good comfort," he 
gave the name of Point Comfort to its northern promontory. They soon 
entered a noble river, to which they gave the name of James River, in 
honor of their sovereign, and ascended it about fifty miles, where they 
selected a site for their colony and named it James Town ; this was on the 
13th day of May, 1607, a day for ever to be remembered. It was the 
first permanent, and at that time, the only English settlement in North ■ 

Newport, about the middle of June, sailed for England, The beauty 
of this " dearly beloved "country soon lost its charms. Weak in num- 
bers, and still weaker by reason of their indolence — surrounded by na- 


tives whose hostility they soon incurred — degraded by jealousy having 

no common bond of union but fear, and no hope save that arising from 
despair — the heat of summer becoming insupportable — the moisture of the 
climate generating disease, and the luxuriance of the forest increasing 
their toil — their provisions being at the same time nearly' exhausted it 
may be truly said of them as they said of themselves, that " their drink 
was unwholesome water — their lodgings castles in the air ; and had thev 
been as free from all sins as from gluttony and drunkenness, they might 
have been considered as saints." . In less than two weeks after Newport's 
departure, hardly ten of them were able to stand ; and one-half of their 
whole number, and among them Bartholomew Gosnold, perished before 

Disunion among the colanists, in a short time completed this scene of 
wretchedness. Having deposed Wingfield, their first president, for his 
avarice, and elected Radcliff, who had neither judgment nor industry, 
the management of their whole affairs fell mostly upon Smith, who had 
previously, by " the good doctrine and exhortation " of Hunt, been dis- 
charged from arrest and restored to his place in the council. By his ster- 
ling good sense, his indefatigable industry and perseverance, and by his 
known and acknowledged bravery, he soon evinced the decided superi- 
ority of " nature's nobleman " over one of James's creation. 

Smith, the reputed father of Virginia, had inherited from nature a spirit 
of noble daring, and in early life had sighed for adventures. His first 
effort in arms was in the Low Countries, where he fought for the independ- 
ence of Holland. From thence he travelled through France, visited 
Egypt, and returned to Italy. Having there heard of an hereditary war- 
fare between the Christian and the Moor, on the borders of Hungary, he 
repaired thither, and in three successive combats, with as many infidel 
champions, came off victorious. He thus gained the favor of Sigismund, 
the unfortunate Prince of Transylvania, and was commissioned as a cap- 
tain in the army of Christendom. Overpowered by numbers in a sud- 
den skirmish with the Moslems among the glens of Wallachia, he was 
severely wounded, and left for dead upon the field. From thence he was 
carried to Constantinople as a prisoner of war, and sold in its public mar- 
ket for a slave. The lady of his master having pity on his sufferings, and 
admiring his bravery, sent him to her friend in the Crimea, intending from 
thence to restore him to freedom. Contrary, however, to her commands, 
he was there subjected to the severest hardships, from which he recoiled ; 
and rising upon his task-master, whom he slew in the struggle, mounted '■ 
a horse and crossed into Russia. , From thence he travelled across the 
country to Transylvania on foot ; bade adieu to his companions, and re- 
solved to return, as he says, " to his own sweet country." Hearing, 
however, on his journey thither, of civil wars then raging in Northern 
Africa, he hastened to Morocco in search of new adventures, and from 
thence to England, where he arrived just as Newport and others were 
about to sail for Virginia. Partaking of their excitement, he embarked 


with Grosnold, inspired the natives on landing with awe — hushed the spirit 
of rebellion among the emigrants — and by the vigor of his dauntless arm, 
supplied the colonists - in starving time " with food. His fortitude, and 
the benevolence of an Indian maiden, saved the colony afterward from 

When the English landed in Virginia, the country near James Town 
was inhabited by several Indian tribes, united, in what was called the 
Powhattan Confederacy. The name of its chief in the Indian tongue was 
Wahunsanocock. He was called by the English Powhattan. from the 
town of Powhattan, which was the chief seat and metropolis of his hered- 
itary dominion — and by way of eminence, "the emperor." The impe- 
rial residence was a village of twelve wigwams, a little below where 
Richmond now stands. The savages murmured some at the intrusion of 
strangers, but Powhattan, disguising his fears or his resentment, and per- 
haps both, replied : " That the strangers did not hurt them ; that they 
only took a little of their waste land." The Indians at this time were 
not formidable to the whites, nor were they afterward, till supplied by 
Europeans with fire-arms, and taught their use. Captain Smith, (who was 
wont sometimes to express his opinion in strong terms, though seldom de- 
tected in error,) when attacked by several hundred at once, says : 
" With my pistol, sword and target, I made such a passage among those 
naked devils, that at my first shot those next to me tumbled one over an- 
other, and the rest fled in all directions." Their population could not, 
probably, have exceeded at that time one to a square mile ; and these 
were divided into a number of petty tribes, generally at war with each 
other. The Powhattan Confederacy, it is said, embraced thirty such tribes, 
and a population of eight thousand souls. Powhattan, or " the emperor," 
was therefore one of the most powerful princes in the country. 

Like other emperors, he had as many as three or four places of resi- 
dence. Worowocomoco was abandoned for Orapakes, with a view to 
keep at an agreeable distance from the colonists — the latter became a favo- 
rite residence. Here were deposited his royalties and his revenue — skins, 
copper, beads and paint, bows and arrows, targets and clubs. The house 
itself was more than one hundred feet in length. Four rudely graven 
images of wood were stationed at the four corners — one representing a 
dragon; the second, a bear; the third, a panther; and the fourth, a 
gigantic man ; all made '•' evil-favoredly," according to the best work- 
manship of the natives. He kept about his person from forty to fifty of 
the tallest men in his dominions. Every night, four sentinels were sta- 
tioned at the four corners of his dwelling, and at each half-hour one of 
the body-guard rilade a signal to the four sentinels. He kept as many 
wives as he thought proper. When the English saw him at home, re- 
clining on his couch or platform, there was always one sitting at his head 
and another at his feet ; and when he sat, two of them seated themselves 
on either side of him. At his meals, one of them brought him a wooden 
platter to wash his hands, before and after eating, and another attended 


him with a bunch of feathers for a towel ; some were the daughtei's, and 
had been the wives, of distinguished rivals and enemies conquered in 
battle. When he became weary of them, he transferred them as presents 
to his favorite warriors. 

Having described " the emperor's" residence, it would be doing him 
great injustice to conceal from our readers his skill in traffic. Captain 
Newport, on his second voyage to Virginia, took thither a quantity of 
goods, adapted, as he supposed, to the Indian market, with a view to ex- 
change them for corn, in which the colonists, by reason of theii- indolence, 
were sometimes deficient. The natives of the " lower class" (for it 
seems there were different ranks among these children of the forest,) were 
anxious to buy, but having little corn to sell, were unprofitable customers. 
It was, therefore, an object to drive a trade with "the emperor" himself. 
This, however, the latter affected to despise. " Captain Newport," said he, 
" it is not agreeable to my greatness to truck in this plodding manner for 
trifles. I am a great werowance ; and I esteem you as the same ; 
therefoi-e lay me down all your commodities together — what I like I will 
take, and in return you shall have what I conceive to be a fair value." • 
Smith reminded Captain Newport of the hazard he would incur by accept- 
ing the offer ; but Newport being a vain man, and expecting to dazzle 
" the emperor" by his bounty, complied with his request, and it unluckily 
proved as Smith had predicted. "The corn," said the latter, "might as 
well have been purchased in Old Spain." They received scarcely four 
bushels, when they expected twenty hogsheads. 

Smith next tried his hand, and relied for success, not upon "' the em- 
peror's" sagacity, but on his simplicity. He accordingly took some toys 
or gewgaws, and by glancing them dextrously in the light, they showed 
to great advantage. " The emperor'^ soon fixed his observing eye upon 
a string of blue beads, and became anxious to obtain them. Smith, how. 
ever, was unwilling to part with these precious gems : " They being," 
as he said, "composed of the rarest substances, of the color of the skies, 
and fit to be worn only by the greatest kings in the world." The savage 
grew more and more eager to own such jewels, and a bargain was struck 
between the captain and " the emperor," to the entire satisfaction of both 
parties — by which Smith obtained two or three hundred bushels of corn 
for a pound or two of blue beads. Blue beads afterward grew in such 
estimation among the Indians, far and near, that none but great wero- 
wances, and their wives and daughters, dared to be seen with them — be- 
ing, as it was supposed, imperial symbols of enormous value. 

The capture of Sinith afterward, and the story of Pocahontas, "' the 
nonpareil of the country," as Smith used to call her, we pass over with- 
out comment ; not because they are destitute of interest, hut because we 
have neither time nor space to do them justice. Another consideration, 
too, has also weight with us. They are familiar, or ought to be so, to 
every child in this Republic. A repetition of them would, therefore, be 


Having alluded to the style and manner in which " the emperor" lived, 
it may not, perhaps, be foreign to our purpose, to compare it with the 
style and manner of an English nobleman of the same period. We have 
already mentioned that Percy, a brother of the Earl of Northumberland, 
was among the first emigrants to Virgmia. If the reader will peruse a 
note in Hume's history of England, which describes an ancestor of the 
noble earl, during the reign of Henry VII., (1508,) after the discovery 
of this country by Columbus, he will there learn, that there was not so 
much difference between an Indian prince and an English earl, as many 
suppose. (See note 1.) And were we to indulge ourselves in a still 
higher comparison, between " the emperor" and his royal brother of 
England, it would be questionable, perhaps, whether there was' such a 
difference between them as by some is pretended. (See note 2.) Whether 
it be true, as James I. said to the English Parliament, in 1621 : " That 
public transactions depended on a complication of views and intelligence, 
with which they (the Parliament) were entirely unacquainted ; that they 
could not better show their wisdom, as well as duty, than by keeping 
within their proper sphere ; and that in any business that depended on 
his prerogative, they had no title to interfere with their advice, except 
when he was pleased to desire it;" we shall not now assume the prov- 
ince, either to admit or deny. When, however, his majesty further says 
to his Parliament, in his address from the throne : '•' Although we cannot 
allow of your style, in maintaining your ancient and undoubted right and 
inheritance, but would rather have wished that ye had said that your 
privileges were derived from the grace and permission of our ancestors 
and us ; yet we are pleased to give you our royal assurance, that as long 
as you contain yourselves within the limit of your duty, we will be as 
careful to mamtain and preserve your lawful liberties and privileges, as 
any of our predecessors were :" we must confess that the style might 
have been improved, and, according to our ideas of liberty, its matter 
might have been amended in divers particulars. The English nation, 
however, at that time having been accustomed to hear such language 
from the throne, thought but little of the matter ; and as the " divine 
right" of James I. and Powhattan emanated from the same source, and 
was supported by similar means, we will not attempt here to disturb its 

Newport, on his return to England, fitted out another expedition, and 
repaired to Virginia with one hundred and twenty new emigrants. The 
new comers, however, were principally " vagabond gentlemen, and gold- 
smiths," and added little or nothing to the strength or importance of the 
colony. There was no talk now — no hope — no work-; but dig gold^ 
wash gold — refine gold — and load gold. The refiners were enamored of 
their skill, and supposed themselves on the road to fortune. Smith was 
the only man to dispel this illusion. He saw famine staring them m the 
face, and strove hard to avert the impending calamity. He penetrated 
the interior — laid the foundation for beneficial intercourse, and com- 


menced traffieing with the natives ; and on his return was made presi- 
dent of the council. Industry was fostered, and order at once diffused 
throughout the colony. In 1609, only thirty or forty acres in all, had 
been cleared and cultivated. It was, therefore, still necessary to obtain 
food from the Indians ; and this was effected by Smith with extraordinary 
success. In 1609, five hundred additional emigrants arrived under Sir 
Thomas Gates and Sir Guy Somers. They were " desperate gallants," 
packed off to escape worse distresses at home ; broken tradesmen — gen- 
tlemen impoverished in spirit and fortune ; " rakes and libertines — men 
more fitted to corrupt than to found a commonwealth." Such were the 
materials of which the State of Virginia was originally composed. Such 
were its fathers — men, whose descendants have since asserted the liberty 
of this Republic by their eloquence, and defended it by their valor. 

Smith resolutely maintained his authority over this unruly herd, until, 
by an accidental explosion of gunpowder, he was compelled to return to 
England for surgical aid. Having delegated his authority to Percy, he 
resorted thither, without having received in remuneration for his services, 
privations and sufferings, a shilling in money, or one foot of land — not 
even the house he had reared, or the field he had planted. 

After Smith's departure the colony languished, and from four hundred 
and ninety persons, of whom at one time it consisted, but sixty remained, 
and these became so desperate and wretched, that they resolved to em- 
bark for Newfoundland, and dispose of themselves among tbe fishermen. 
*'No one dropped a tear at parting, for none had enjoyed one day of hap- 

They fell down the river with the tide, in order to embark, and were 
met by Lord Delaware near its mouth with reinforcements and supplies. 
The fugitives paused, reconsidered their former resolution, and returned 
with alacrity to their deserted dwellings on the next day after they had 
left them ; and by the ability and zeal of Lord Delaware, a new state of 
things shortly existed. When ill health compelled him afterward to 
leave the colony, he was succeeded by Sir Thomas Dale, an ofiicer of 
great merit ; and the latter, by Sir Thomas Gates of equal merit, first 
named in the Virginia patent. The lands were parcelled out among the 
colonists. The joint-stock system was abandoned, and the right of prop- 
erty was respected. Industry soon awoke from its long sleep, now sure 
of reward ; and peace and plenty pervaded the land. 

Lord Delaware arrived on the 10th of June, 1610, and from that time, 
more properly perhaps than from any other, may be dated the first settle- 
ment of Virginia. 

During the administration of Sir Thomas Dale, the government was 
administered upon the basis of martial law. The code written in blood, 
was printed and sent thither by the treasurer, Sir Thomas Smith ; and 
in substance was the same as the rules and articles of war, previously 
adopted in the Low Countries. The Episcopal church coeval with the 
settlement of James Town, was subjected to military rule, and courts mar- 


tial had authority to punish indifference with stripes, and infidelity with 
death. The introduction of this arbitrary system excited no commotion, 
because the colonists, not having as yet tasted of liberty, were unac- 
quainted with its value. 

In 1611, a hundred kine were sent thither by the company, the most 
fortunate step yet taken. This emanated from the wisdom of Cecil, and 
it is strange indeed, that a measure so important, should have been de- 
ferred so long. In the following year, (1612,) a modification of the 
charter was effected, which consisted in giving to the corporation a demo- 
cratic form. All power previous to this, had resided in the council ; it 
was now transferred in part to the company, frequent meetings of which 
were now held. Those meetings, contained the germ of another revolu- 
tion, and became in a short time the theatre of bold and animated discussion. 
While the powers of the company were thus enlarged, the stability of the 
colony was confirmed. Some Indian tribes shortly thereafter, without 
solicitation, became the tributaries of King James, and the marriage of 
John Rolfe "an honest, discreet, and amiable enthusiast," with Poca- 
hontas, the daughter of "the emperor" in April, 1613, gave to the 
whole scene the most animating effect. 

Rolfe, it^ is said, daily and hourly, and as it were in his very sleep, 
heard a voice crying in his ears, that he should strive to make her a 
Christian. With the solicitude of a troubled soul, he reflected on the 
object and end of his being. "The Holy Spirit," (says Rolfe) " de- 
manded of me why I was created ; and conscience whispered, that rising 
above ' the censure of the low-minded,' he should lead the blind in the 
right path." After a long and serious struggle in his own mind, accom- 
panied by daily prayer, he resolved " to labor for the conversion of the 
unregenerated maiden." He succeeded; and she stood in the little 
church of James Town, before the font, " hewn hollow like a canoe" from 
the trunk of a tree, and openly renounced " her country's idolatry, pro- 
fessed the faith of Jesus, and was baptized." This was followed by her 
nuptials with Rolfe. " She stammered out before the altar her marriage 
vows," and the English colonists and the tawny sons of the forest, to all 
appearance, " were united in harmony." 

A confirmed peace, not only with Powhattan, but with the powerful 
Chicahomanies, followed the marriage of Rolfe ; and other tribes, from 
thenceforward, sought English protection. 

In May, 1614, a petition for aid was presented in the House of Com- 
mons. " All that Virginia requires," (says the petition,) "is but a few 
honest laborers burdened with children." Although supported by Lord 
Delaware and other gentlemen of influence, it failed of success. It was 
not, therefore, to parliaments or to kings, that Virginia was indebted for 
its prosperity, but to the industry of its inhabitants, directed to the culture 
of its then staple article, tobacco— a better and surer resource than the 
patronage of England or any other country on the globe. Tobacco be- 
came eventually not only the staple but the currency of the country. 


Industry being now respected and property secure, the emigrants be- 
gan to think of public rights. Under the influence of faction, Argall had 
been appointed lieutenant governor of the colony, and martial law hav- 
ing been adopted, opportunities for unrestrained tyranny frequently 
occurred. These, Argall had improved ; and the first appeal from 
America to England was in 1618, from his decision, condemning in a 
wanton manner a colonist to death. By the influence of Sir Edwin San- 
dys, the appeal succeeded, and the mild and popular Yeardly was ap- 
pointed captain general of Virginia. During his administration, the 
colonists were allowed to participate for the first time in legislation ; and 
in June, 1619, the first colonial assembly met in James Town. Two repre- 
sentatives from each of the eleven boroughs, hence called burgesses, con- 
stituted the first popular representative body, that ever met on this side 
of the Atlantic. Although their acts were of no force till ratified by the 
company in England, their first assembling was an era in the progress of 
freedom. They demanded a code based upon the English laws, and 
claimed the privileges of Englishmen. 

Sir Edwin Sandys, the new treasurer, (the patriot party in England 
having now control of the London company,) set about reforming abuses 
in earnest. After twelve years of labor, and an expenditure of eighty 
thousand pounds by the company, there were not more than six hundred 
persons now resident in the colony, (1619.) Sir Edwin Sandys, in one 
year, provided a passage to Virginia for one thousand two hundred and 
sixty-one persons, and among them " ninety young ladies, agreeable per- 
sons and uncorrupt," who were assured of a cordial welcome. They 
were transported thither at the expense of the company, and married 
afterward to their tenants, and to others who were able to support them, 
and who willingly paid the costs of their passage, which were rigorously 
demanded. The adventure succeeded so well, that it was proposed to 
send hither a hundred more the ensuing year; before, however, they 
were collected, the company became so poor, that recourse was had to a 
subscription. After some delay, sixty were actually dispatched, " maids 
of virtuous education, young, handsome, and well recommended." Their 
price rose from a hundred and twenty to a hundred and fifty pounds of 
tobacco, and in, some cases even more. The debt contracted for a wife 
was a debt of honor, and took precedence of any other, and the company, 
in conferring employment, gave a preference to married men. Domestic 
ties were thus formed, and virtuous habits inculcated. The tide of emi- 
gration swelled at once to a mighty flood, and Virginia became a refuge 
even for Puritans. 

On the resignation of Sandys as treasurer, in 1620, a struggle took 
place in the election of his successor. Many distinguished leaders in 
Parliament participated therein, and among others, King James himself. 
Notwithstanding, however, the opposition of the king, the choice fell upon 
the Earl of Southampton, the friend and patron of Shakspere. The com- 
pany having now vindicated their own rights, proceeded to redress former 


injuries, and protect colonial liberty. Trials by jury were recognized by- 
law, colonial assemblies sanctioned by a written ordinance, and the com- 
mon law of England adopted as authority, in their courts. 

The foundation of American liberty was now laid — the superstructure 
now begun — and its influence, wide and enduring, for more than two cen- 
turies has been felt throughout the globe. The house of burgesses in 
Virginia, during that time has been the nursery of freemen, and a monu- 
ment of glory has been erected by its patriot leaders, " under whose shade 
kings will moulder and dynasties be forgotten." ,••:■! 

From the facts above detailed, England, it would seem, paid nothing 
toward the discovery or colonization of America. It is true, that many 
of her citizens expended fortunes in the great and glorious undertaking ; 
it is also true, that a large portion of those who risked their possessions, 
and even life itself, in the effort, received little or no compensation there- 
for." Still England, at a subsequent period, asserted and undertook to main- 
tain her rights by force of arms, and to collect a revenue in this country, 
without our consent, because a few English merchants, in their I'ambling 
adventures, had, perchance, seen its coast from their decks. We have, 
therefore, indulged ourselves in recapitulating the early history of the 
first British colony here, because it throws light upon our glorious Revo- 
lution. We shall pursue it, however, no further at present, because it 
is too remote from the object we seek to attain. In conclusion, then, we 
observe, that its population soon rolled over the AUeghanies, into the val- 
leys of the Ohio, the Kentucky, and their tributary streams, and thence 
into the southern parts of Illinois, carrying with them the habits, manners, 
and customs, they had formed ; thus rendering the history of the first 
settlement and colonization of Virginia, a legitimate portion of our own. 

NOTE 1. 

" No baron's family," says Hume, in speaking of the Duke of Northumberland, " was 
on a nobler or more splendid footing. It consisted of a hundred and sixty-six persons, 
masters and servants, and fifty-seven strangers ; in the whole, two hundred and twenty- 
three. Two-and-a-half pence are supposed to be the daily expense of each. If a servant 
be absent a day, his mess is stmck off; if he goes on my lord's business, board-wages are 
allowed him — eight pence a day for his journey in winter, and four pence in summer, be- 
sides the maintenance of his horse. A hundred and nine fat beeves, at 13s. 4d., two 
hundred and twenty-four lean ones, at 8s., are to be bought, and the latter put into the 
pasture. Six hundred and forty-seven sheep are allowed, at twenty pence a pair ; only 
twenty-five hogs are allowed, at two shillings a pair ; twenty-eight veals, at twenty pence ; 
and forty lambs, at ten pence or a shilling. 

" These seem to be reserved for my lord's table, and that of the upper servants, called 
the knights' table ; the other servants, as they eat salted meat ahnost tlnrough the year, 
and with few or no vegetables, had a very bad and unhealthy diet ; so that there caimot 
be anything more erroneous, than the magnificent ideas formed of ' the roast beef of Old 
England.' Only seventy ells of linen, at eight pence an ell, are annually allowed for this 
great family. No sheets were used. The hnen was made into eight table-cloths for 
my lord's table, and one table-cloth for the knights' — the latter was washed once a month. 
The drinking, however, was tolerable, namely, ten tierces and two hogsheads of Gascony 
wine at £'i 13s. 4d. per tierce. Only ninety -one dozen candles for the whole year. The 


family rose at six, dined at ten, and supped at four in the afternoon. The gates are ail 
shut at nine, and no further ingress or egress permitted. My lord and lady have set on 
their table for breakfast, at seven o'clock in the morning, a quart of beer or mulled wine, 
two pieces of salt pork, six red herrings, four white ones, and a dish of sprats ; on fleah 
days, half a chine of mutton, or a cliine of beef boiled. Mass is ordered to be said at six 
o'clock, in order, says the household book, that all my lord's servants may rise early. 
After Lady-day, no fires are permitted in the rooms, except half-fires in my lord's and 
lady's, and Lord Percy's, and the nursery. It is decided that, from henceforth, no capons 
are to be bought, but only for my lord's own mess, and the said capons shall be bought for 
two pence a-piece, lean and fed in the poultry ; and master chamberlain and the stewards 
be fed with capons, if there be strangers sitting with them. Pigs are to be bought for 
three pence or a groat a-piece, cliickens at a halfpenny, hens two pence, and only for the 
above-mentioned tables. When my lord is on a journey, he carries thirty-six horsemen 
with him, together with beds and other accommodations. The inns, it seems, could aflford 
nothing tolerable. My lord passes his time in three country-seats, but he has fijrniture 
only for one. He carries everything along with him — beds, tables, chairs, kitchen uten- 
sils — and yet seventeen carts and one wagon suffice for the whole. One cart suffices for 
all his kitchen utensils, cooks' beds, etc. He has eleven priests in his house, besides seven- 
teen persons, chanters, musicians, etc., belonging to his chapel, yet he has only two cooks 
for a family of two hundred and twenty-three persons. If we consider the magnificent 
and elegant maimer in which the Venetian and other Italian noblemen lived, with the pro- 
gress mad e by the Italians in literature and the fine arts, we shall not wonder that they con- 
sidered the western nations of Europe as barbarians. The earl is not deficient in gene- 
rosity ; he pays, for instance, an aimual pension of a groat a year to my Lady of Walsing- 
ham, for her interest in heaven. No mention is anywhere made of plate, but of the having 
of pewter vessels." Such, in part, is the description given by Hume of a feudal baron's 
household in the sixteenth century. 

■ '.'■.''' NOTE 2. 

" The emperoi-" falls little short of bis royal brother of England, in the reverence and 
respect of his subjects. " When the emperor," says an old writer, " listeth, his will is a 
law, and must be obeyed ; not only as a king, but as half a god they esteem him. What 
he commandeth they dare not disobey m the least thing ; at his feet they present what he 
commandeth, and at the least frown of his brow, their greatest spirits will tremble wdth 
fear." In one other respect, " the emperor" had a decided advantage over his brother of 
England : Powhattan " could make his own robes, shoes, bows, arrows, and pots, besides 
planting his com for exercise, and hunting deer for amusement." 


Northern Illinois settled principally from New- York, and New-England — Protestant Re- 
formation — Luther— Calvin— Plymouth Patent— Heniy VIII.— Anne Boleyn— Cardi- 
nal Woolsey — Acts of conformity — Queen Elizabeth — Puritans — James I. — Puritans 
embark for Holland — For America — Settle at Plymouth — Their success— Sir Harry 
Vane — Hugh Peters. 

Northern Illinois having been settled originally by emigrants, princi- 
pally from New- York and New-England, and having also been included 
in the original patent granted by King James to the Plymouth company, 
on the third of November, 1620 ; — the history, habits, customs, manners, 
and character of " the Pilgrims," are essentially ours. Although many 
German emigrants from Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, have resorted 
thither, and of late, foreigners from almost " every nation under the whole 
heaven," have made northern Illinois their home, still the habits, man- 
ners, and customs of New-York and New-England predominate, appa- 
rently at the north, in about the same ratio that the habits, manners, and 
customs of Kentucky, Virginia and the Carolina's, do at the south. 

A concise view then of the origin, progress, and colonization of " the 
Pilgrims " in New-England, and their emigration and settlement else- 
where, in aftertimes, cannot be an obtrusive theme. 

Religious reformation was the original principle which kindled the 
zeal of our Pilgrim fathers ; and the settlement of New-England was a 
part of its result. An Augustine monk* denouncing indulgences in the 
sixteenth century, introduced a schism into the Catholic church, and 
shook the papal throne to its centre. A young French refugee,f of great 
skill in theology and civil law, shortly thereafter established a powerful 
party in the republic of Geneva, by conforming its ecclesiastical discipline 
to the principles of republican simplicity, of which Englishmen after- 
ward became prominent members, and New-England its principal asylum. 
" A mode of worship," says Hume, " Avas established, the most simple 
imaginable ; one that borrowed nothing from the senses ; worthy of 
that Being it professed to serve, but little suitable to human frailty. Re- 
jecting all extei'ior pomp and ceremony, it was so occupied in this inward 
life that it fled from all intercourse with society, and from every cheerful 
amusement which could soften and humanize the character." 

" So absolute," continues the same eloquent historian, " was the au- 
thority of the crown, dui'ing the reign of Queen Elizabeth, that the pre- 

* Martin Luther. t John Calvin. 


cious spark of liberty had been kindled, and was preserved by the Puri- 
tans ; and it was to this sect, whose principles appear so frivolous, and 
habits so ridiculous, that the English owe the whole freedom of their in- 

Tliese observations of a British author, (in 1759.) who had no partiality 
for republics, have since been fully illustrated, and their truth made more 
manifest by subsequent events. 

The doctrines of popular liberty, protected during their infancy in the 
American forest?, have been infused into the institutions of every rising 
state upon our Continent ; and after making a proselyte of refined and ac- 
complished France, have aroused the public mind to resistless action, from 
the Straits of Gibraltar to the mighty Kremlin of the north. 

Several ineffectual attempts were made to colonize New-England, ere 
"the Pilgrims" landed on its shores. One near the mouth of the Ken- 
nebec, in 1607. Another in 1615, under the auspices of John Smith, fa- 
miliar already to our readers in the history of Virginia, both of which 
were afterward abandoned. 

In 1620, the old patent of the Plymouth company, before referred to, 
was revoked, and on the third of November, in the same year, King 
James issued to forty of his subjects, some of wliom were of the highest 
nobility in England, a patent which has but one parallel in the history of 
the world. The adventurers were incorporated as '•' The council estab- 
lished at Plymouth, in the county of Devon, for the planting, ruling, or- , 
dering, and governing of New-England, in America." The territory 
thus granted, extended in breadth from the 40th to the 4eth degree of lat- 
itude ; and in length, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, or as it was then 
called, to the South Sea. Absoiute property, with unlimited jurisdiction; 
the sole power of legislation, and the appointments of all offices was thus 
given in perpetuity to forty individuals, of a territory, equal in extent to 
one-half of Europe ; coni:aining more than a million of square miles, and 
capable of sustaining in ease and affluence 100,000,000 of people. And 
all this by the mere signature of an English monarch, without even the 
assent of Parliameiit. 

Nearly all the inhabited British possessions north of the United States, 
all New-England and New-York, two-thirds of New-Jersey and Ohio, 
about half of Pennsylvania, half of Indiana and Illinois, the whole of 
Michigan and Wisconsin, a part of Missouri, and all the territories of the 
United States, west of the Mississippi, on both sides of the Rocky Moun- 
tains, including a part of the Mexican dominions, and from a point within 
the same, northerly almost to Nootka's Sound, was thus granted in fee, : 
" to the council established at Plymouth, in the county of Devon." 

No regard was had for the rights of those who might hereafter inhabit 
this " proud domain." They were to be ruled by a company in England. 
Reference, it would seem, was merely had to the cupidity of its forty propri- 
etors. And like a former patent, issued by the same monarch, to the Vir- 
gmia company, it contained the very worst, the most obnoxious features 

7 , . > . • 


of a commercial monopoly. Its object, no doubt, was to encourage emi- 
gration. Adventurers refused, however, to embark, lest they should in- 
fringe the privileges of a powerful company. Those privileges, at least 
some of them, were questionable ; and while the English monopolists 
were disputing about their validity and extent, a permanent New-Eng- 
land colony was settled at Plymouth without their knowledge, and without 
assistance from the king. 

The opinions of WicklifFe had prevailed in England to a considerable 
extent, and his followers, known and distinguished by the appellation of 
Lollards, were considerably numerous, before Luther commenced preach- 
ing upon the Continent against the sale of indulgences. Luther, finding 
his opinions greedily sought after, and his disciples daily increasing, was 
roused to extraordinary efforts, and all Saxony, Germany, and indeed the 
whole of Europe in a short time, were filled with the opinions of this da- 
ring innovator. Those opinions were speedily wafted across the Channel, 
and the new doctrines gained partisans in England among the laity of all 
ranks and denominations. Luther in his writings had spoken with great 
severity of Thomas Aquinas, a favorite author of the king. Heniy the 
Eighth, reckless of consequences, breasted himself immediately to the 
shock, and among other things, wrote a book in Latin against the princi- 
ples of Luther, to which the latter replied; and without regard to the 
dignity of his royal antagonist, treated the king as he had other and more 
humble individuals, with all the acrimony to which this daring reformer 
had been accustomed. The public, who naturally took sides with the 
weaker party in this dispute, awarded to Luther the palm of victory. 
The king, however, sent a copy of his work, elegantly bound, to Leo 
the Tenth, who, in testimony of his regard for so magnificent a present, 
conferred on the English monarch the title of " Defender of the Faith." 
The character of the disputants gave importance to the cause, and Luther 
obtained numerous converts in every part of Earope. " Adopting an en- 
thusiastic strain of devotion, and placing great meiit in a mysterious spe- 
cies of faith, inward vision, rapture, and ecstacy," his followers, indefati- 
gable in the propagation of his doctrines, set at defiance all the anathe- 
mas and punishments with which the Roman pontiff" endeavored to over- 
whelm them. 

Calvin, a man of extraordinary learning, and one of the best writers 
of the age, soon followed in his wake, and the Reformation, from humble 
beginnings, acquired power and influence, and soon thereafter entered the 
courts and palaces of kings. 

While it was thus progressing in England and Europe, an event trans- 
pired in the former, which influenced for a long time, either for good or 
ill, a large portion of the civilized world. 

Anne Boleyn, a maid of honor to Catharine, Queen of England, 
having had frequent opportunities of being seen by the king, (Henry 
VIII.) acquired in a few months entire control of his affections. Young, 
handsome, and accomplished, both in person and mind, and being con- 


nected with some of the proudest nobles in the realm, Henry avowed; 
without scruple, his design of raising her to his bed and throne. In 
order, however, to effect an object so desirable, it became necessary first 
to procure his marriage with Catharine of Arragon, (with whom he had 
lived in great amity for more than twenty years,) to be annulled. For 
that purpose. Knight, his confidential secretary, was sent abroad to con- 
sult the Roman pontiff, Clement, who filled the papal throne, was an 
illegitimate son of Julian of Medicis, of the sovereign family of Florence, 
and being then a prisoner in the hands of the emperor, (Charles V.,) and 
having no hopes of regaining his liberty, except through the league which 
Henry had formed with the French monarch, (Fi-ancis I.) to oppose the 
ambition of Charles, was at that time exceedingly anxious to gratify the 
English king. Henry's secretary, therefore, had no diflSculty in obtain- 
ing an audience, and having solicited the holy father in private, received 
a favorable answer to his master's petition ; and his holiness promised, 
at the same time, to issue a dispensation immediately for the celebration 
of Henry's nuptials. The march, however, of a French army into Italy, 
under the command of Lautrec, obliging the emperor to restore Clement 
to his liberty, the pope, though full of high professions of friendship and 
gratitude to Henry, was not quite so prompt in granting his request as the 
anxious secretary anticipated. The emperor, who was nephew to Cath- 
arine, having got intelligence of Henry's application, desired the pontiff 
to take no steps in the affair without first consulting the imperial minis- 
ters ; and Clement, overawed by the emperor's forces in Italy, manifested 
a desire to postpone the concession desired by the king. He put, how- 
ever, into the hands of Cardinal Wolsey, a commission to inquire into the 
validity of Henry's marriage, and the nature of Pope Julian's dispensa- 
tion. He also granted a provisional dispensation for the king's marriage 
with Anne Boleyn, and promised to issue a decretal bull, annulling his 
marriage with Catharine. The dangerous consequences which would 
ensue to him if his concessions were known to the emperor, were also 
made known to Henry's secretary ; and he was requested to keep the 
whole matter a secret, until the pope's affairs should become more pros- 
perous. While these negotiations were in progress, the emperor, with- 
out any particular design, (as it was said,) suggested to different persons^ 
in the confidence of Clement, that some reform in the church was desir- 
able, and that some abuses required correction. He went even so far, as 
to express some doubts whether, according to the cannon law, a bastard 
was eligible to the papal throne ; and whether this stain, if stain it could 
be called, on the birth of the reigning pontiff, was not incompatible with 
so holy an office — and the opinions of Charles being at that time exceed, 
ingly popular in Rome, on account of the number and discipline of his 
armies, which hovered about the capital ; and Clement, previous to his 
elevation to the papal chair, having unfortunately given to one Colonna, 
a Romish cardinal, entirely dependent on the emperor, a written billet, 
" his own proper handwriting being thereunto subscribed," in which he 




had promised to advance the cardinal, in case he, Clement, should obtain 
the papal dignity by Colonna's concurrence, which billet Colonna threat- 
ened every moment to expose — the holy father could not see, with so 
clear an eye as formerly, the invalidity of Henry's marriage. But wish- 
ing to delay the matter, he granted a new commission, in which Cam- 
peggio, an Italian cardinal, was joined with Wolsey, to ascertain its 
leo-ality ; and to pacify the king, he put into the hands of one Gardiner, 
Henry's friend, a letter, in which he promised not to revoke the present 
commission. This letter, however, strange as it may seem, being couched 
in such ambiguous terms, as to leave everything just as doubtful as be- 
fore, was unsatisfactory to Henry's partisans. 

Campeggio was under some obligations to the king, but under still 
o-reater ones to the pope ; and being entirely at the disposal of the latter, 
he kept the court of England, and its youthful lover, for a long time in 

Meanwhile, fortune seemed to smile on Henry's undertaking. Cle- 
ment became dangerously ill, and Wolsey, a candidate for the throne 
of St. Peter — the prospect of death in one case, and success in the 
other, for some time being equally suspended. The pope, however, after 
several relapses, finally recovered. He again flattered Henry with 
hopes of success, and at the same time continued his secret negotiation 
with Charles, and thus protracted his decision, by artful delays, till he 
had settled the terms of a treaty with the emperor. Charles, unwilling 
that Henry should obtain a divorce without first consulting him, and 
wishing to make the dissolution of Henry's league with France a condi- 
tion precedent to his marriage with Anne Boleyn, listened with great 
attention to Catharine's appeal, (she being his aunt,) and promised to aid 
her. With that view, he requested the pope to revoke the commission 
he had given to Camepggio and Wolsey. Against this procedure, the 
English and French ministers earnestly protested, and both parties had 
recourse to promises and threats. The motives, however, which the 
latter set before the pope, were not so urgent or immediate as those held 
out by the emperor, (his army in Italy being then victorious,) and the 
fear of losing England, and of fortifying the Lutherans, being of less 
consequence than his present safety, he adjusted the terms of a settle- 
ment with Charles ; suspended the commission of the legates ; ordered 
the decretal bull, intrusted to Campeggio, to be burned ; adjourned the 
cause to Rome, and resolved t>ience forward to regard the queen's appeal. 
Wolsey had anticipated and feared this, and looked upon it as the in- 
dication of his ruin. Anne Boleyn imputed the failure of her hopes to 
Wolsey's treachery ; and Henry's higln opinion of the cardinal's capa- 
city hastened his downfall. 

Henry, finding his prerogative firmly established, and the people dis- 
gusted with clerical usurpations, resolved to become pope in his own 
dominions. He dreaded, however, the reproach of heresy — abhorred all 
connection with the reformers ; and having once exerted himself with 


much applause, as he imagined, in defence of the Romish church, was 
ashamed to retract his former opinions. 

While thus agitated by hope and fear, an expedient was proposed, 
which he embraced with exceeding joy. 

Thomas Cranmer, a learned divine, (Archbishop of Canterbury after- 
ward,) meeting by accident the king's secretary and almoner, and their 
conversation turning on the divorce, the former observed, " that the read- 
iest way to quiet Henry's conscience," (for his conscience, after living 
twenty years with the queen, had become, it seems, very tender,) " or 
extort the pope's consent, would be to consult all the universities in Eu- 
rope ; and if they condemned his marriage with Catharine, the holy fa- 
ther would find it difficult to resist the solicitations of so great a monarch, 
seconded by the opinions of all the learned men in Christendom." 

The king, informed of this proposal, became delighted, and swore that 
Cranmer had " got thfe right pig by the ear." He immediately sent for 
him ; convei'sed with him for a long time, " and conceived at once a high 
opinion of his virtue and understanding." He engaged him to write a 
book in favor of the divorce ; and in prosecution of the scheme thus sug- 
gested, agents were employed to collect the judgments of the learned. 

A majority of the universities declared in favor of the divorce, but 
Clenaent, still under the influence of Charles, summoned Henry to appear 
in person, or by proxy, at Rome. This was regarded by Henry as an 
insult. He sent, however, the father of Anne Boleyn, created Earl of 
Wiltshire, with his reasons for not appearing by proxy. The earl, on 
his arrival thither, refused to kiss the pope's foot, which was graciously 
held out to him for that purpose. This was the first omission of respect 
on the part of England to the holy see. 

Henry being now pushed to extremities, conscious of his own power, 
and confident of the support of his people, renewed the prosecution of his 
ancient favorite, Cardinal Wolsey, " even unto death." 

A Parliament in the meantime having been called, the king was de- 
clared by law " supreme head of the church ;" and the ligaments which 
had united England and Rome for centuries, were thus broken for ever. 

These invasions of papal and ecclesiastical authority, were not viewed 
by the court of Rome with total indifference. Some of the imperial car- 
dinals urged Clement to proceed to extremities against the king, but the 
moderate and impartial counsellors of the pope represented the indignity 
of such a proceeding, as he had frequently, by his pen and sword, signal- 
ized hin'jself in their cause. The design, therefore, for the present was 

Henry, being now resolved to abide the consequences, privately cele- 
brated his marriage with Anne Boleyn, Avhom he had previously created 
Marchioness of Pembroke, and afterward commissioned Cranmer, (then) 
Archbishop of Canterbury, to ascertain and determine the validity of his 
former marriage. The result of the investigation need not to be told. 
After Catharine's marriage was declared illegal, Henry's marriage with 


Anne Boleyn was ratified, and she publicly crowned. Anne became 
afterward a mother, and her offspring a queen, who swayed the English 
sceptre with signal ability. 

Little did the generous, confiding, ambitious, ill-fated maiden, thus ele- 
vated to a throne, surrounded as she then was by regal splendor, think 
that a public execution, in less than five years, would be her doom ; and 
that execution too, superintended by her heartless, unfeeling lord. Little 
did Cranmer, who witnessed her nuptials, and was advanced from thence 
to an archbishop's see, then think that he was on his way to martyrdom. 
'T is only to be regretted, that the tyrant who had participated in their 
glory, had not also participated in their fate. 

The English nation looked on with apparent indifference, and saw a 
youthful queen, who had long been an object of their intense admiration, 
quietly beheaded, and her husband on the succeeding day married to Jane 
Seymour, to whom he had become attached while Anne Boleyn was yet 
alive. It may be observed, says the historian before referred to, truly, 
" that the English in that age were so thoroughly subdued, that, like 
eastern slaves, they were inclined to admire those acts of violence and 
oppression which were exercised over themselves at their own expense." 

The act of supremacy which severed the English nation from the holy 
see, contained no clause favorable to religious liberty — nor was it so 
intended. The English church alone was enfrachised — not the English 
people, or the English mind. The right of interference in matters of 
faith became, thenceforward, a part of the royal prerogative, and heresy 
of course an aggravated crime. In 1539, an act was passed " for abol- 
ishing diversity of opinions." All the Romish doctrines were therein 
asserted, except the one abrogated " by the power of a despotic monarch ;" 
to wit : the supremacy of Rome. 'T is not, therefore, singular that Henry 
should have been regarded by the pope as a model of orthodoxy, although 
he had been excommunicated for contumacy. Indeed, Henry was just 
as tenacious of his reputation as a Catholic, as he was of his claim to 
spiritual dominion ; while he disdained submission, he detested heresy. 

The forms of worship, as well as the minds of men, were thus made 
subordinate to government, and faith, no less than ceremony, varied with 
the acts of Parliament. While death was denounced against all who 
denied the king's supremacy, a similar destiny awaited those who doubted 
his creed. Even Luther and Calvin, the great reformers, had they been 
subjects of England, under the system which Henry ordained, might have 
perished by fire. 

The time, however, was fast approaching, when the public mind, re- 
lieved in part from its oppression, was about to cast off its fetters. When 
the spirit of inquiry began to rebel against proscription — when more aus- 
tere principles were about to be announced — when no ceremonies were to 
be tolerated, unless enjoined by the word of God. This was the begin- 
ning of puritanism — it was, indeed, puritanism itself A new era in reli- 
gion now commenced. It recognized no authority but the Bible — it 


yielded no pretensions to Parliaments, to hierarchies, or to kings. The 
Puritans asserted the equality of their clergy — denied the divine rights of 
bishops, spurned at the interference of government in matters of religion, 
and sought frequent opportunities to display their antipathies. They 
became, thenceforward, objects of unrelenting persecution, and to escape 
the grasp of vindictive bigotry, hurried into exile. Parties, however, 
were visible even there, and the Puritans were regarded everywhere as 
the harbingers of revolution. Elizabeth declared them more dangerous 
than the Romanists. As the pulpit was the readiest channel through 
which the minds of the common people could be reached, and the preach- 
:ers of that day assumed the right to speak of ordinary events with great 
plainness, and claimed among other things, " the liberty of prophecying," 
the Puritan clergy became, as it were, tribunes of the people — and threat- 
ened not only to disturb the conformity of religious worship throughout 
the kingdom, but to impair the respect and obedience claimed for the 
crown. By erecting the dictates of conscience into a tribunal, before 
which even sovereigns were constrained to bow, Jhe ligaments which 
united the prince and the subject were essentially weakened, and those 
ligaments in some instances severed nearly asunder. 

Queen Elizabeth, however, by degrees became the supreme head of 
the Protestant, as her father had of the Anglo-Catholic church ; and whdh 
we take into considei-ation the fact now conceded, that Catholic princes 
conspired against her kingdom, that a convocation of cardinals proposed 
measures to depose her, and that the sovereign pontiff absolved her sub- 
jects from their allegiance ; we are constrained to withhold our disappro- 
bation from Elizabeth for regarding the Puritans as mutineers in her 
camp. Toleration in England, as elsewhere, it miist be recollected, was 
at that time unknown, and uniformity in religious opinions supposed, and 
by many conscientious men believed, to be as essential to a nation's pros- 
perity, as unity in action when the Spanish armada was approaching the 
English coast. 

To eiFect, however, an object so desirable, much remained, and the 
power even of Elizabeth proved wholly inadequate. The several statutes 
on the subject of conformity, instead of exciting to peace, excited to resist- 
ance. Independent congregations were formed — the government became 
alarmed, and men, and sometimes even women and children, were sent to 

"The Puritans," said Lord Burleigh, "are ever squeamish; and yet 
their careful catechizing, and diligent preaching, diminished essentially 
the number of Papists." " It is to that sect," says a profound historian, 
"that England is indebted for its reformation, and the English church for 
its existence. Had it not been for the Puritans, the old religion, (the 
Catholic,) might have retained, even to this day, its ascendency among 
the people. While Elizabeth reformed the court, the ministers she per- 
secuted reformed the Commons. The spirits of conscientious men can 
never be subdued. They must either be tolerated, or they must be de- 


stroyed. Extermination is the only instrument, and exile the only remedy 
against variety of opinions. It remains for the patriot and the statesman, 
then, to consider whether an attempt to coerce uniformity in matters of 
religious faith, deserves another experiment; or rather, whether the 
remedy is not more dangerous than the disease. 

The history of England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, 
presents a lesson for our instruction, which ought never to be forgotten. 

" I v>'ill," said James I., in his speech from the throne in 1604, " have 
but one doctrine — one discipline — one religion in substance and in cere- 
mony.'" While the Puritans wished occasionally to assemble, and to en- 
joy the liberty of free discussion, James, anticipating that freedom in 
religion would tend to freedom in politics, reiterated his former speech. 
'•' La roi visera." The king alone will decide. " The hierarchy," 
said he, "is the firmest support of my throne. The Puritans I will make 
conform, or harry them out of the land." Such specimens of royal logic 
— such exhibitions of princely benevolence from " the father of his peo- 
ple," were not uncommon in that barbarous reign. The king prided him- 
self on his skill in theological disputations ; and though attached to the 
Protestant cause, derided and despised the Puritans. "He was, however, 
an awkward liar," as Hallam the historian observes, " rather than a 
Crafty dissembler." Demonology was his favorite study. Upon this he 
wrote and published a book ; and to illustrate its truth, " some helpless 
crone" must needs perish at stated intervals upon the gallows. He in- 
dulged, on one occasion, his egregious vanity in a public dispute ; and 
when the argument was over, burned his opponent at the stake. " His 
marvellous learning" excited, among his courtiers, sometimes wonder 
and sometimes applause. " Your majesty," said a venerable archbishop, 
" speaks by the special assistance of God's Spirit." A bishop on his knees 
exclaimed, " that his^-heart melted for joy, because God had given Eng- 
land such a king, as since Christ's time had not been seen," In a foolish 
letter, (and there are many such extant,) the king boasted that "he had 
severely peppered off the Puritans." 

It ought not then to excite surprise, that during the reign of such a 
prince, a war of opinion should have commenced ; nor that the estab- 
lished authority should, for a fev/ succeeding years, have obtained a tem- 
porary triumph ; nor that the contest should have been transmitted down 
from one generation to another, till the mighty struggle between the peo- 
ple on the one hand, and the altar alid the throne on the other, should have 
stained the latter with the blood of royalty. 

Non-conformity being now made penal by law, and men of unim- 
peached and unimpeachable integrity having been selected as victims, 
and hanged at Tyburn for their opinions, many respectable Puritans 
abandoned England for ever. A religious society in Amsterdam, at this 
time served as a pivot of hope. Although Bacon, and many others, es- 
teemed controversy as " the wind by which truth is winnowed," his 
opinions were in advance of the age, and unapproved by the nation. 


Proclamations of great severity against non-conformists being issued, the 
contest for human freedom thenceforward commenced, and its dearest 
interests were put in issue. 

A reformed society in the north of England, under the pastoral charge 
of the Rev. John Robinson, " a man not easily to be paralleled," " had 
joined themselves by a covenant into an independent church, in the fel- 
lowship of the gospel ;" and being watched by the hirelings of prelacy, 
and despairing of rest in England, resolved to seek safety in Hol- 
land. Escape from persecution being regarded as criminal, a retired 
heath in Lincolnshire, near the mouth of the Humber, was selected as a 
place of rendezvous. Previous to their departure, as the boat with a part 
only of their number left the shore, a company of horsemen appeared in 
view. Consternation filled every bosom. A few women and children left 
behind, were seized and confined, and afterward sent home. " But they 
had no home to go to" — " the magistrates, therefore, were at last glad 
to get rid of them on any terms;" and they were permitted, after "endu- 
ring misery enough," to join their husbands and fathers in Holland. 

Pilgrims in a strange land, they lifted up their eyes to Heaven and 
were comforted. Arriving at Amsterdam in 1608, their trials began. 
From thence they removed in 1609 to Leyden, where being " careful to 
keep their word, and peaceful and diligent in their callings," they " grew 
in grace, and lived together in love and holiness." 

The voyages of Columbus then recently published — the expeditions of 
Raleigh — and the compilations of sundry navigators before this, had 
filled the Continent with wonder ; and " the Pilgrims," conscious of their 
ability to act a higher part in the great drama of humanity than was 
there allotted them, moved also by the hope, and an inward zeal, of ad- 
vancing the Gospel of Christ in foreign lands, and being fearful that by 
remaining they should " scatter or sink," they, with entire unanimity, 
resolved on changina: their abode. 

Although they had been received with great kindness in Holland, the 
language of the Dutch was never familiar, and their manners were offen- 
sive. They lived, therefore, as men in exile. When they talked of 
removing, the Dutch insisted on their going to Guiana ; and as induce- 
ments for going thither, made them the most kind and liberal offers. 
'•' The Pilgrims," however, were proud of their native land. Though 
persecuted at home, a deeply seated love of country remained. They 
were attached " to their nationality as Englishmen ;" to the language of 
their fathers, and weie '-'restless" to live once more under the govern- 
ment of England.* They, therefore, in December, 1617, transmhted a 
request to the London company, through John Carver and Robert Cush- 
man, their agents, for permission to live in a distinct body by themselves, 
under the government of Virginia. In their request they say : " It is not 

* A little spiritual pride, and some worldly ambition, it is supposed, had influence on 
their resctlves. They were anxious, it is said by some, to extend the dominions of Eng- 
land as well as of their Redeemer. 


with us as with men whom small things can discourage." They peti- 
tioned also the king for leave to enjoy their religion in peace ; but could 
obtain nothing more than an informal promise of neglect. On this, how- 
ever, they relied, and in 1619 received a grant of land from the' London 
company. The patent, however, was issued in the name of one who 
failed to accompany the expedition, and was, therefore, useless. 

Another difRculty now stared them in the face. They were poor, and 
their means were unequal to so gi-eat an undertaking. 

Their agents in Leyden thereupon formed a partnership with men of 
business in London, by which the services of each emigrant were esti- 
mated at ten pounds, and belonged to the company. The profits of their 
labor, at the end of seven years, and all houses a;nd lands, flocks and 
herds, gardens and fields, were to be divided, by the terms of their con- 
tract, among the stockholders according to their respective interests. 
The London merchant who advanced a hundred pounds, consequently, 
would receive ten times the amount awarded to the penniless emigrant, 
for seven years' laborious service. But such was their zeal, that the 
terms, though rigid, were of but little or no account. 

In 1620, two ships were provided, the Speedwell of sixty, and the May- 
flower of a hundred and eighty tons burden. They were wholly insuf- 
ficient, and could carry but a part of the congregation. The Reverend 
John Robinson, it was thereupon agreed, should remain at Leyden, while 
Brewster, the governing elder, should lead forth " such of the youngest 
and strongest as freely offered to go." A solemn fast was thereupon 
held. " Let us," said they, " seek of God a right way, for us, and for 
our little ones, and for all our substance." Their pastor then gave them 
a farewell discourse, breathing a freedom of opinion, and independence of 
authority, such as the world had scarce ever heard. He charged them 
before God and his blessed angels, to follow him no further than he 
should follow his Lord and Master. He told them that Luther and Cal- 
vin were great and shining lights in their times, yet they " penetrated not 
the whole counsel of God." He besought them with tears, to receive 
whatever truths should be made known to them from the sacred oracles 
of Jehovah. Those intending to embark, were then feasted at the house 
of their pastor, " being large," and were refreshed exceedingly by the 
singing of "divers godly psalms, and making joyful melody in their 
hearts," (many of the congregation being expert in music.) They were 
then accompanied by the whole congregation to Delft Haven, where the 
ships awaited their arrival, and were again feasted " by the brethren," 
at the latter place. " After prayer, a flood of tears was poured out," and 
they were accompanied to the ships. Not a word was spoken — the scene 
was "too deep for words." They were not able to speak one to another, 
« for their abundance of sorrow." On going aboard, they fired a volley 
of small arms, and three pieces of ordnance ; then, " lifting up their hands 
to each other, and their hearts and their hands to the Lord their God," 


A favorable breeze soon carried them to England, and in a fortnight 
after leaving the coast of Holland, the Mayflower and Speedwell, freighted 
with the first New-England colony, left Southampton for America. 
They had not proceeded far before the Speedwell needed repairs, and both 
vessels put into the port of Dartmouth. From thence they put out into the 
open sea, when the captain of the Speedwell and his company, dismayed 
at the dangers of the enterprise, pretended that the ship was too weak and 
ill-provided for the service ; whereupon they put back to Plymouth, dis- 
missed the Speedwell, and those who wex'e willing returned to London. 
They were thus " winnowed" a second time ; and the little band of emi- 
grants, now reduced to a hundred and one in number, and consisting of 
men, women and children — " a floating village" — went on board the 
Mayflower, hired to transport them across the Atlantic, and on the 6th of 
September, 1620, without any warrant or authority from their sovereign, 
or the promise even of his protection, they committed themselves, " their 
little ones, and all that they had," to the care and protection of " an over- 
ruling Providence." 

Pilgrims indeed — exiles for religion — schooled in misfortune — equals in 
rank — poor in the estimation of this world, but rich in the love of Jesus — 
they went forth, "the meek champions of truth" — "the apostles of liber- 
ty" — " without a stain on the spotless garments of their renown." No 
effeminate nobility crowded their ranks — no well-endowed clergy quitted 
their cathedrals, to erect others in the wilderness. No craving governors 
sought wealth or rank or power, among this " little band of persecuted 
exiles." In the cabin of the Mayflower humanity recovered her rights: 
here a governrnent was instituted on the basis of " equal and impartial 
justice," to promote "the general good." 

Freighted with " the prospects of unborn millions" — " the forlorn hope 
of ransomed nations" — the Mayflower, mth a thousand misgivings, pur- 
sued her adventurous march across an unknown sea, crowded almost to 
suffocation with women and children, supplied scantily with provisions, 
and for days and nights, for weeks and months, braved the ocean and the 
storm ; sometimes delayed by calms, sometimes driven furiously before 
the tempest, leaping madly from billow to billow, her masts straining 
to their base, the ocean beating against her sides, and the ingulfing floods 
sweeping her decks, till, on the 9th of November, after a boisterous pas- 
sage of sixty-three days, (during which only one had died,) her weather, 
beaten mariners descried at a distance the wished for shore, and on the 
11th, " the Pilgrims," to the number of a hundred, were safely landed 
•f'on the ice-bound rocks of Plymouth." 

No friendly voice hailed their approach — not even the savage bade 
them welcome. Weak and weary from a vpyage unusually protracted, 
poorly armed, indifferently clad, worse provisioned, without shelter, with- 
out means, and without a home, among natives taught by experience to 
fear and distrust their unwelcome visitors ; the nearest European settle- 
ments too far distant, had they been able, to give them succor ; an ocean 


on one side, boundless forests on the- other; a bleak and barren coast be- 
fore them, and winter approaching — such was the condition in part only 
of these miserable exiles, the apparent victims of immediate want, and, 
to all appearance, the destined prey of the savage and the elements. 
They were entirely ignorant of the number, the power, and temper of the 
numerous Indian tribes which inhabited, or rather traversed, the immense 
Continent that lay before them, into whose possessions they had apparent- 
ly intruded, and were about to erect their habitations. The snow was 
about six inches in depth, and falling rapidly, and the winter-storm howl- 
ing throuo-h its forests, and beating with merciless fury on the uncovered 
heads of women and children. What a scene ! Who that has a heart 
within him, can but admire their fortitude, and glory in the triumph of 
these solitary wanderers. Compare their early, as well as their later 
efforts, with the baffled expectations, the deserted settlements, and the nu- 
merous adventures of other times, and how brilliant the contrast. Con- 
sider also their blighted hopes, the nature and character of the enterprise, 
and the struggles of many a broken heart, clinging with deathlike grasp 
to the loved and left beyond the sea, and find, if you can, in the annals 
of human wo, a parallel for scenes like these. 

They received, it is true, a charter, but it was a charter of banishment. 
From the dark portals of the star-chamber, and in the stern text of the Act 
of Uniformity, " the Pilgrims" received a commission more efficient than 
ever passed the royal seal. No convoys or navies wafted them hither, 
no armies defended these infant settlements, no lords or princes espoused 
their interests in the councils of the mother country. Their lot was cast 
in quiet insignificance ; they were born amid hardships, and nourished 
among the rocks ; they were indebted for no favors, and owed no duty, 
except to the Lord of Hosts. They trusted (and that is the secret of their 
success,) in the word of God — a sure, a perfect defence against every ill, 
a rock that never fails to shelter us in a storm. 

Before they landed, they formed themselves into a " body politic," by a 
solemn compact ; and as this is the first, and indeed, the only instrument 
of the kind extant, we insert it at length : 

" In the name of God — amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects 
of our dread sovereign, King James, having undertaken, for the glory of God, and the 
advancement of the Christian faith, and the honor of our king and country, a voyage, to 
plant the first colony in the northern part of Virginia, do, by these presents, solemnly and 
mutually, in the presence of God, and of one another, covenant and combine ourselves 
together, for our better ordering and preservation, and furtherance of the ends aforesaid ; 
and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and form, such just and equal laws, ordinances, 
acts, constitutions and officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most convenient for 
the general good of the colony. Unto which we promise all due submission and 

The above instrument was signed by forty-one men, who, with their 
families, constituted the whole colony ; and is the first written constitu- 
tion extant based upon " equal rights," and the " general good." It was, 


in fact, a patent for constitutional liberty, emanating from the whole 
people- and it was the first time, since "the morning stars sang to- 
gether," that the people themselves had met in council, and framed a 
government based upon " equal rights." 

Compacts had been made before — partial enfranchisements had been 
conceded, and the sovereign's power, in some instances, had been limited. 
England, however, notwithstanding her Magna Charta, was still in 
chains ; and neither civil nor religious liberty understood or practiced in 
the island. "The Pilgrims" on board the Mayflower did more for human 
freedom than whole centuries had done before ; and by one single insu- 
lated act, immortalized their memories throughout the length and breadth 
of our wide expanded Republic. Their example has since been imitated, 
and its influence has been felt on the plains of Marathon and the prairies 
of Mexico — among the Alps and on the Andes. 

" The Pilgrims," on landing, found nothing but graves. A pestilence, as 
they were afterward informed, had previously swept off the greater part 
of its native population. A few deserted wigwams, however, were dis- 
covered, and a heap of Indian corn, much to their joy. While traversing 
the country, on the 8th of December the exploring party, as usual, ros? 
at five o'clock in the morning, and had scarcely finished their prayers, 
when a flight of arrows, accompanied by a v/ar-whoop, announced the 
approach of savages. The Indians, however, were the remnant of a 
tribe, who had known the English only as kidnappers, too few in num- 
bers to create alarm. The encounter was, therefore, attended with no 
important results. They continued still their search; until Monday, the 
11th of December, when they entered a little port, which they called 
Plymouth, on account of the hospitalities which the company had received 
at the last English town from which they had sailed ; and the Mayflower 
was soon thereafter moored safely in its harbor. Their civil constitution 
had already been formed, and John Carver had been elected governor for 
the first year. Liberty, equality, and independent Christian worship, at 
once existed. Disease as well as famine soon stared them in the face. 
While they were wasting rapidly away with consumptions, with fevers, 
and other diseases incident to their exposed situation, they commenced 
building houses on the 9th of January, 1621, each family for itself — but 
owing to the weather, to sickness, and to other causes, their progress was 
slow and uncertain ; and before spring opened, the governor, his wife, and 
one son, together with about half of the whole colony, were in their 
graves. Such was their distress, that the living were scarce able to bury 
the dead — much less to afford them that attention which their situation 
required. At one time there were but seven able to render any assist- 
ance whatever. " I have seen men," says Winslow, " stagger by reason 
of faintness for want of food." During the third year of their settlement 
their provisions were so exhausted, that when some of their old friends 
arrived from England in order to join them ; a lobster, a piece of fish 
without bread or salt, with a cup of cold water, was the best and only 


dish the whole colony afforded. During, however, this period of self- 
denial, this agony of human suffering, their confidence in the mercies of 
Providence remained unshaken. In the fourth year of their settlement 
neat cattle were introduced, and after harvest in 1623, there was no 
general scarcity of food. 

Although no living inhabitants could be found, the smoke of distant 
wigwams was frequently seen, which indicated the presence of the na- 
tives. The colony, therefore, assumed at once a military organization, 
and Miles Standish, a man of the greatest courage, " a devoted friend of 
the church which he never joined," and the best linguist in the colony, 
was appointed its commander-in-chief. 

On the 16th of March, 1621, one Samoset, an Indian, who had learned 
a little English from the fishermen at Penobscot, entered the town o, 
Plymouth, and passing to their rendezvous, in broken accents, exclaimed : 
"Welcome, Englishmen !" He belonged to the Wampanoags, a nation 
afterward conspicuous in the history of New-England. In the name of 
his tribe, he desired them to occupy the soil which there was no one alive 
to claim. Shortly thereafter, Massasoit, their principal sachem, visited 
them at Plymouth, and was received with military honors. The colony 
at that time consisted of fifty persons, including men, women and chil- 
dren. A treaty of friendship was immediately concluded,, and to the 
honor of both parties, was sacredly kept for more than fifty years. This 
is the oldest act of diplomacy recorded in New-England. An embassy 
from thence was sent to their friend and ally in July following. The 
embassadors performed the undertaking through forests, and on foot, and 
without the pride and pomp, and, perhaps, the insincerity of modern 
missions. It was I'eceived in like manner, and prepared the way for a 
trade in furs. It reminds us of the first embassy sent by the Athenians 
to Philip, of Macedon, of which Demosthenes was a prominent member.* 
Their influence over the natives became shortly extensive, and sachems 
who had threatened the colony whh destruction soon asked for mercy, and 
afterward sought its friendship. Having thus pointed out to the oppressed 
of other realms a sure way to an asylum of freedom on this side of the 
Atlantic, although it lay through perils and dangers, others followed in 
their wake, until, like a small " cloud no bigger at first than a man's 
hand," they increased and multiplied and covered the earth. Accustomed 
ia early youth to a country life, and the innocent occupations of agricul- 
ture, they set examples in industry and economy, patience and perseve- 

* Demosthenes tells us, that on his mission, as joint embassador with nine others to 
Philip of Macedon, the daily allowance of each was equivalent, in English money, to 
nearly eight pence sterling. Demosthenes, we are informed, placed himself at the court 
of Macedon, in the most ridiculous of all lights^ — " the clown affecting the courtier." 
" And this," says ^schines, in his humorous sketch of the scene, " furnished no small 
merriment to the assembly." " His appearance was so ludicrous," says Mitford, in his 
history of Greece, " that though Philip himself preserved a decent gravity, the bystanders 
could not refrain from laughing aloud.'' 


ranee, purity and virtue, worthy of imitation ; and thus, transmitted to a 
grateful posterity their habits and customs, manners and constitutions, 
with scarcely a blot on their escutcheon. Although they endured for 
many years every species of hardship, and were reduced at times to. the 
lowest stages of depression, they never allowed a desponding thought for 
a single moment to enter their minds, but looked forward amid surround- 
ing gloom with an eye of faith, to that period when their sufferings and 
exertions should be appreciated — when they should enkindle in the wil. 
derness the beacon-fire of pure and undefiled religion, " whose undying 
light should penetrate the wigwam of the heathen, and spread its benig- 
nant beams across the darkness of the habitable globe." These anticipa- 
tions, to a certain extent, have since been realized ; although they failed 
to convert the heathen, they succeeded in civilizing a world. Whatever, 
therefore, may be the opinion of posterity in relation to the conduct and 
motives of "the Pilgrims," 'tis certain that " recorded honors will gather 
round their tombs." 

To trace the progress of European settlements on the Atlantic coasts, 
is foreign to our present purpose. Our remarks on the colonization of 
the Atlantic states must, therefore, be brief. Other spirits of a kindred 
nature — men of religious fervor, uniting great enthusiasm with unbound- 
ing perseverance in thought, word, and deed — men of considerable fortune, 
and not a few of exalted rank — men of undoubted courage and extraordi- 
nary cheerfulness, unwilling to endure the restraints and vexations of the 
English law, and the severities of the English hierarchy, became active 
and efficient friends of colonial enterprise, and sought for themselves and 
their posterity seclusion in the New World, from the supposed corruptions 
of the Old. The settlements increased, therefore, in number and respec- 
tability. The title to Indian lands became extinguished by purchase, 
and being too insignificant to receive the notice of an English Parliament, 
they flourished by its neglect. 

In their religious ceremonies, they reduced the simplicity of Calvin to 
a yet plainer standard. Outcasts from England, but favorites of Heaven 
— the chosen emissaries of God, the sure depositories of the true faith, 
and the selected instruments for its further dissemination — nothing was; 
therefore, too hazardous for them to undertake ; nothing too arduous for 
them to perform. Deeming the continuance of their liberty inconsistent 
with the exactions of prelacy, they repudiated the religion from which' 
they had suffered so much, and prohibited episcopacy within their borders. 
The first settlers of New England were a body of sincere believers, 
desiring purity of religion, and not a colony of philosophers, who had . 
come thither to promote toleration. Possessed of a soil which they had . 
purchased, and of a charter they had obtained by extraordinary efforts, 
they sought to plant those religious doctrines only, and the forms of civil 
liberty, which they considered valu-able. Constituting, as they did, a cor- 
poration, they assumed the right to prescribe the terms of admission into 


it ; and holding its key themselves, acted under an impression that they 
had a right to exclude whom they pleased. 

During the first fifteen years after the settlement of Plymouth, twenty- 
one thousand two hundi'ed persons, or about four thousand families, mi- 
grated hither, and but few thereafter. Their descendants at the present 
time exceed four millions. 

The refinements of chivalry constituted no part of their character. 
Their ideas of national grandeur were predicated on universal education. 
Liberty and equality, industry and economy, were their polar stars — and 
piety was the sun that kept everything in order, and attracted everything 
above, around, and within them, to a common centre. 

Hume, the historian, states that John Hampden, Oliver Cromwell, and 
others, having resolved '•' to abandon their native country and fly to the 
extremity of the globe, where they might enjoy lectures and discourses 
of any length or form which pleased them," went on board a ship to 
embark for New-England, and were detained by an order of the privy 
council, in 1687, of which the king (Charles I.) had reason to repent. 
Hume's authority, however, for this assertion, is exceedingly questionable. 
Hampden, who, as Lord Clarendon observes, possessed " a head to con- 
trive, a tongue to persuade, and a hand to execute ;" and Cromwell, who 
sought the ofiice of high constable of England, in order to keep the peace, 
were never, it is believed, in this country, nor did the}' ever embark for 
the purpose of comings hither. The ships, in which it is said they em- 
barked in order to come, were detained but for a few days, and were then 
authorized to proceed on their voyage. The passengers arrived in safety, 
but no mention is made of Hampden, Cromwell, Hazelrig, or Pym, being 
of their number. Sir Harry Vane, who was a member of the long Parlia- 
ment in 1653, to whom Cromwell, when he prorogued it, said : " The 
Lord has done with you, and has chosen other instruments for carrying on 
his work :" and on Vane's remonstrating against his proceeding, replied: 
" Oh, Sir Harry Vane ! Sir Harry Vane ! the Lord deliver me from Sir 
Harry Vane !" had previously been in this country, and was elected 
governor of Massachusetts in 1636. 

Hugh Peters, afterward chaplain to Cromwell, executed in the reign of 
Charles IL for treason, was a settled minister at Salem, in Massachusetts, 
for several years. Some of the regicides of Charles L came also to New- 
England, and were concealed or protected from arrest, and thus saved 
from the effects of royal indignation. 

Inasmuch as the people of northern and southern Illinois are scarcely 
acquainted with each other, an introduction through some common me- 
dium, it is hoped, will be serviceable. And as their ancestors once min- 
gled their blood on the fields of Saratoga and at Yorktown, in defence of 
a common object, (the liberties we now enjoy,) it is hoped, that by mutual 
and more frequent intercourse, and the aid of a common interest, they 
will shortly become united in one common feeling. 

C H A P T E R V I I . 

French fisheries — French navigators — Denys — Verrazani — Cartier — Roberval — De la 
Roque — Chauvin — Champlain — Founds Quebec, in 1608 — Jesuits in Canada — In 
Europe — Reformation — Martin Luther — Henry VIII. — Ignatius Loyola founds the 
Society of Jesuits — Allouez — James Marquette — Johet — Marquette discovers the 
Mississippi, 1673 — Returns to Chicago — Dies in Michigan, 1675 — Robert Cavalier 
De la Salle — Arrives in Canada, 1667 — Commander of Fort Frontenae — Builds a 
vessel on Lake Erie — Discovers the Illinois river, and builds a fort, Creve Coeur, 
near Peoria — Father Hennepin ascends the Mississippi to the Falls of St. Anthony, 
1608 — Tonti — Commands on the Illinois — La Salle visits Canada — Returns — De- 
scends the -Mississippi to its mouth, 1682 — Returns — Founds Kaskaskia and Ca- 
hokia, 1683, the oldest towns on the Mississippi — Revisits France — Embarks for 
the Mississippi, 1684 — Passes its mouth, January, 1685 — Disembarks at Matagorda, 
in Texas — Joutel — Texas, a part of Louisiana — La Salle enters the confines of 
■ Mexico, 1686— Massacred near Trinity River, March 20, 1687 — His character. 

Feance, at an early day, saw and felt die importance of the American 
fisheries ; and the banks of Newfoundland, soon after Columbus's first 
voyage, became familiar to the mariners of Brittany. The Island of 
Cape Breton acquired from them fts name, and from thence the fishermen 
of Normandy derived experience, wealth, and fame. Denys, a practical 
navigator, and a citizen of Honfleur, in 1506, drew a map of the Gulf 
of St. Lawrence ; and in 1522, John Verrazani, a Florentine mariner, 
of great skill, in the service of Francis T., King of France, with a caraval 
called the " Dolphin," explored the American coast from Wilmington, 
in North Carolina, to Nova Scotia ; landed at New- York, at Newport, in 
Rhode Island, and elsewiiere ; and was received by the aboriginees, 
" the goodliest people he had ever seen,"' with great hospitality. In July, 
1524, he returned to France, having advanced, to a considerable extent, 
the knowlediJ-e of geography ; and furnished the French monarch with a 
pretext for claiming the whole country, as an appendage of France. 

The niisfortunes of Francis, at the disastrous battle of Pavia. in which 
he was taken prisoner by the emperor, Charles V., although for a time 
fatal to any further efforts at discovery, on the part of France, did not 
for a moment repress the- energy or activity of her seamen. As early 
as Auo-ust, 1527, an English captain, writing from St. Johns, in New- 
foundland, to Henry the VIII. of England, observes that he found in one 
harbor, eleven sail of Normans, and one Breton, engaged in the fisheries. 

Shortly thereafter, (in 1534) Chabot, Admiral of France, a man of ex- 
traordinary bravery, engaged the king, (Francis I.) in another attempt to 
explore the Continent, and James Cartier, of St. Malo, was selected to 


lead the expedition. He was the first Frenchman who had directed the 
attention of France to the river St. Lawrence, and to the inland seas that 
roll in solemn grandeur their mighty floods through its channel to the 
ocean. In April, 1534, he left the harbor of St. Malo in two ships, and 
in twenty days thereafter, reached the Island of Newfoundland. He 
there raised upon an elevated spot of ground a cross, bearing a shield, in- 
scribed with the lilies of France, and an appropriate inscription. From 
thence, he sailed up the river till he could " discover land on either side." 
Being unprepared to remain for the winter, he weighed anchor, and in 
September following, entered the harbor of St. Malo in safety. 

The French court listened with intense interest to the recital of his 
adventures, and a new commission was thereupon issued. Three well 
furnished ships were provided by the king, and some even of the nobility, 
joined the expedition. Solemn preparations were made for their depar- 
ture. Religion lent her aid, and the whole company repairing to the 
cathedral, received absolution, and a blessing from the bishop. On the 
19th of May, 1534, the squadron, full of hope and expectation, sailed for 
America, and the territory thus sought to be colonized, thenceforward 
became known and distinguished as New -France. 

Arriving in sight of Newfoundland, and passing to the west of it on 
the day of St. Lawrence, (August 10, 1535,) he gave the name of that 
martyr to the wide expanded gul£ that lay before him ; and in September 
following, he ascended the stream as far as the Isle of Orleans. Leaving 
his ships safely moored, Cartier visited in a boat, accompanied by a 
single guide, the chief Indian settlement, which lay at the foot of a hill 
on the Island of Hoehelaga, and climbing the hill, was moved to admira- 
tion by the prospect before him. Realizing, in imagination, its impor- 
tance, and filled with anticipations of its future glory, he gave it the 
name of Montreal, since transferred to the island, and after erecting there 
a cross, bearing the arms of France, he embarked for Europe. 

Cartier's description rather checked, than otherwise, emigration thither. 
The intense severity of its climate, terrified the inhabitants of France ; 
and as neither silver nor gold, precious stones nor diamonds, were prom- 
ised, some time elapsed before any further attempts at its colonization 
were made. It was deemed, however, unworthy of a gallant nation to 
abandon the enterprise, and Francis De La Roque, a nobleman of Pic- 
ardy, Lord of Roberval, sought and obtained a commission to colonize it. 
He found it, however, easier to confer provinces upon parchment, than 
to plant colonies in the forests ; and as Cartier had already learned 
something from experience, Roberval sought his aid. In order to facili- 
tate the expedition, Cartier was authorized to ransack the prisons, to 
rescue the unfortunate and criminal, and to supply himself with a crew, 
and with emigrants, from their number. The felon, the spendthrift, and 
the bankrupt; the debtors to justice and its victims;- prisoners right- 
fully and wrongfully detained ; were thus congregated together, and re- 
quired to act in concert. Cartier sought the honor of a discoverer, and 



Roberval'its fruits. Jealous of each other, they neither embarked in 
company, nor acted in unison. In May, 1541, Cartier ascended the St. 
Lawrence, and erected for his security a small fort near the site of Que- 
bee, anS after passing the next winter in suUennness and gloom, returned 
to France in June, 1542. Roberval arrived with reinforcements shortly 
thereafter, spent a year in America, and finding estates in Picardy 
better than titles or power in the forest, abandoned his possessions, and 
returned without effecting any permanent results. It is said that he em- 
barked again for New-France in 1549, with a numerous train of adven- 
turers ; but as he was never heard of more, it is supposed that he perished 
at sea. 

During the next half century, no further discoveries were attempted 
by the government or nation. Involved in civil wars with the Huguenots, 
or followers of Calvin, in defence of Catholicism, and with the feudal 
barons in defence of royal prerogatives, the monarchs of France had 
neither leisure nor means to explore uncivilized regions, or to send colo- 
nists or emigrants thither ; and it is a matter of doubt with many, at the 
present time, whether a government that could devise, or a people that 
could aid in such a massacre, as that of St. Bartholomew's eve, in 1572, 
deserved either colonies or empires. During the reign of Henry the IV. 
the clouds of civil discord, treachery and war, were for a moment dis- 
persed, and France awoke to liberty and glory. Another attempt to 
found an empire in America was thereupon made, and a commission was 
granted to the Marquis De La Roque, a nobleman of Brittany, for its ac- 
complishment. The contents of her prisons were again disgorged, and a 
settlement commenced with extraordinary toil on the Isle of Sable. The 
wretched exiles, however, sighed for their dungeons ; and in a few years the 
survivors received a pardon — a temporary residence amid storms and tem- 
pests, being regarded, by the king, as an atonement for almost every crime. 

The trade in furs with the natives being profitable, an ample patent in 
1600 was granted to Chauvin, whose death alone, i)i 1601, prevented the 
establishment of a colony. 

In 1603, a company of merchants at Rouen was formed under the 
patronage of the Governor of Dieppe, and Samuel Champlain of Brou- 
age, "who delighted marvellously in ad^^'entures," was intrusted with ■■ 
its direction. Champlain was a marine officer in the French service, of 
great ability ; clear in his perceptions, cautious in all his movements, in- 
defatigable in his efforts, untiring in his exertions, and fearless of danger, 
he seemed fitted by nature for the emergency, and the emergency for 
him; and may, therefore, without disparagement to any other, be justly • 
regarded as the father of the French settlements in Canada. He founded 
Quebec in 1608 ; that is, he erected a few cottages there, cleared a few 
fields, and planted one or two gardens. In 1609, attended by two Euro- 
pean adventurers, he joined a party of Hurons from Montreal, and Al- 
gonquins from Quebec, against the Iroquois, better known as the five 
confederated nations which inhabited New-York, ascended the Sorel, and 



explored the lake which bears his name and perpetuates his»memory. 
Wounded and repulsed, without guides, he afterward spent a winter with 
the Hurons, and carried the language, the religion, and the influence of 
France, to the distant hamlets of the Algonquins. • 

When " the Pilgrims'' were leaving Leyden, to establish a colony in New- 
England, in 1620, Champlaiu was building a fort on the site of Quebec; 
and when the merchants (his employers,) complained of the expense, "It 
is not best," said he, " to yield to the passions of men : they sway but for 
a season — it is our duty to respect the future.'" The castle of St. Louis, 
for a long time the place of council against the Iroquois and New-Eng- 
land, arose as if by magic at his command, and the French authority 
was established in New-France. The benedictions of a Roman pontiff 
were subsequently bestowed on Jesuit missionaries sent thither, self- 
exiled, to evangelize the infidels. The celebrated Mary of Medici ad- 
vanced funds to defray the expense ; and the order of Jesuits was 
enriched by duties levied upon fish and furs. The natives, touched with 
the confiding humanity of the Jesuits, listened reverentially to the mes- 
sage of redemption, and matins and vespers were regularly chanted, 
around a cross erected in every hamlet. While some Jesuit missionaries 
were carrying their Redeemer's cross in triumph to the Ganges, others 
were assisting to plant its foot amid the forests and along the banks of 
Lake Supei-ior. The fishermen of Normandy and Brittany, it would 
seem then, laid the foundation of a French empire in America, equal in 
extent to one half of Europe ; where the followers of Luther and of Cal- 
vin, and the disciples of Loyola, met afterward in hostile array, with 
Indians for their allies, and Europeans spectators of the bloody scene. 

Christianity in its primitive state, excluded from thrones and struggling 

for existence, assumed for a while the meekness of its founder. The 

followers of Jesus were content for many years to travel in his footsteps.. 

Twelve humble disciples, mostly fishermen of Judea, were at first his 

principal companions. To them he revealed the astounding mystery 

that '''his kingdom was not of this world." Notwithstandiiig, however, 

the declaration of its amhor, when the religion he taught and practiced 

assumed the purple, and its professors commanded armies, many thought 

the Saviour was mistaken. The Bishop of Rome was of that opinion, and 

being, by the consent of Christendom, " the supreme head of the church," 

and a temporal prince, having fleets and armies at his command, the titles 

of "sovereign pontiif," "the successor of St. Peter," "King of Naples,"" 

and " fisherman of Bethsaida," were strangely intermingled. Europe, 

for eight centuries previous to the Reformation, constituted one vast 

sacerdotal empire — the sovereign pontiff" being head over all. Princes 

held their crowns as tenants at sufferance, and kings decreed judgments in 

obedience to his will. Though France, and even England and Germany, 

at times resisted her audacious pretensions, Rome in the end prevailed, 

and all Christendom saw, with remorse, her temporal princes converted 

into executioners of her unjust and ierrible decrees. 


As power, especially when absolute, is seldom exercised for a long 
time, or to any considerable extent, without corrupting its possessor ; it 
would have been wondrous strange, if the Roman pontiff, holding the 
keys of heaven and hell, had not had, in common with his species, some 
portion of man's infirmity. We may, therefore, without attributing to the 
" supreme head of the church," extraordinary corruption, assume it as 
proved that, after the lapse of more than eight centuries, the court and 
religion of Rome required reformation. 

Among those who sought to effect an object so dear to the Christian 
world, Martin Luther, before referred to, the son of an obscure miner, 
known generally as the Monk of Wittemburg, stood preeminent. He was a 
man of great learning in his day, deeply versed in the Scriptures, apparent- 
ly sincere, exemplary in his morals, devout and earnest in his discourse.; 
deeply imbued with the knowledge of human nature; and possessing an 
energy of purpose seldom equalled and never surpassed. Having com- 
posed a number of religious tracts, he was called upon to recant, and 
refusing to do so was excommunicated, placed under the ban of the em- 
pire, and his death by assassination, or otherwise, made legal by imperial 
and pontifical authority. His books, too, were ordered to be collected 
and burnt. 

On the 12th of May, 1521, Cardinal Wolsey, the Roman legate and 
Chancellor of England, repaired in solemn procession to St. Paul's in 
London ; assuming the pomp of royalty, seating himself in a chair of 
gold, and displaying his utmost state. A priest of lofty stature, bearing 
a silver pillar surmounted by a cross, walked before the stately ecclesiastic, 
holding in his hand the archiepiscopal crosier of York ; behind, a noble- 
man of exalted rank at his side, bearing his cardinal's hat, and the 
nobility and prelates of England, with the embassadors of the pope and 
the emperor in his train. These were followed by a number of mules, 
bearing chests overhung with rich and brilliant stuffs, carrying to the 
pile the writings of the poor excommunicated Monk of Wittemburg. On 
reaching the church, the haughty prelate deposited his cardinal's hat on 
the altar. The aged and venerable Bishop of Rochester preached a dis- 
course against heresy ; and the attendants drawing near, carrying in their 
arms the writings of Luther, they were devoutly consumed in the pres- 
ence of a vast concourse of spectatoi's. The puissant King of England, 
a prince descended from the houses of York and Lancaster, in whom the 
red and white roses were united, rose up also in his might, and put forth 
a book entitled, " a Defence of the Seven Sacraments, against Martin 
Luther, by the most invincible King of England and of France, Lord of 
Ireland, Henry VIIL of that name," in which he calls Lutheran "infernal 
wolf," " a venomous serpent," " a limb- of the devil," and crushes at once 
the poor mendicant to the earth beneath the weight of his royal anger ; 
writing as it were with his sceptre, promising among other things, to 
receive into his bosom the poisoned darts of his assailants, and exhorting 
all the servants of Jesus Christ, whatever be their age, sex, or rank, to 


rise up against the common enemy of Christendom ; " so that, should he 
show himself obstinate in malice, the hand of the executioner may silence 
him, and thus for once at least, he may be useful to the world by the 
terrible example of his death." This theological treatise of the king was 
received with a profusion of adulation — the public set no bounds to its 
praises. "It is," said some of his courtiers, "the most learned work that 
ever the sun saw." "He is a Constantine, a Charlemagne," said others ; 
" nay, more, he is a second Solomon." The book, as a literary work, 
considering the author and the age in which he wrote it, must be con- 
ceded was neither badly written nor destitute of merit. It soon reached 
the Continent, and filled the whole Christian world with joy. Luther, 
hearing of it, and of the applause with which it was received, observed : 
," I hear much commendation of a little treatise by the King of England." 
He afterward read it with " a smile mingled with disdain, impatience, 
and indignation." When he came to where the king affects " pity and 
contempt for the reformer," Luther's indignation boiled OA-er ; and, being 
somewhat irritable, and but little given to courtesy or forbearance, he 
resolved, against the opinion of his friends, to write an answer, "and to 
show those wild beasts, who were running at him every day with their 
horns, how terrible he could be." In his answer he says: " Living I 
will be an enemy of the popery, and burnt I will be its ruin. Go, thou 
swine of St. Thomas — do what you will ; ever you will find Luther like 
a bear upon the road, and like a lion upon your path ; he will fall upon 
you from all sides, and give you no rest, until he shall have ground your 
iron brains and pulverized your brazen foreheads. The King of Heaven 
is on my side, therefore I fear nothing, though a thousand such churches 
as that of which this Henry is defender, should rise up against me. Do_ 
then what ye list : popes, bishops, pi-iests, monks, friars, devils, death, sin, 
and all that is not Jesus Christ, or in Jesus Christ, must fall and perish 
before the power of this gospel which I, Martin Luther, have preached." 
Thus spoke an unfriended monk in the sixteenth century ; and his pre- 
dictions, notwithstanding the efforts of popes and prelates, emperors and 
kings, to all appearance were about to be verified ; when a rival to the 
Monk of Wittemburg appeared on the stage, whose enthusiasm surpassed 
even that of the reformer, who breathed into the papal system new energy, 
and gave it an impulse hitherto unknown. His disciples planted the cross 
in the State of Illinois, and entwined the lilies of France among its 

When Francis I. threw down the gauntlet, under pretence of reestab- 
lishing in their patrimony the children of John Albert, King of Navarre, 
he commenced without intending it, a war for life. Having sent a well- 
appointed army thither, to invade one of its provinces, his general, Les- 
parre, marched triumphantly to the very gates of Pampeluna, almost 
without resistance. The spirit of chivalry was not yet extinct in the 
Peninsula ; the wars with the Saracens, just terminated, had kept alive 
in the Castilian youth that enthusiasm and simple valor, of which Amadis 


de Gaul was the ideal exhibition. Among the garrison of Pampeluna 
there was a young man by the name of Don Inigo Lopez de Ricalde, the 
youngest of a family of thirteen. Bred in the court of Ferdinand the 
Catholic, elegant in his person and accomplished in his manners, expert 
in the use of sword and lance, and distinguished for his manly vio-or he 
sighed for renown. The glittering dangers of the tournament, and the 
impassioned struggles of opposing factions, had hitherto engrossed his 
thoughts ; and devotion to St. Peter, as to his lady love, had absorbed his 
very soul. 

The governor of Navarre, apprised of the force which threatened to 
overwhelm him, departed hastily from Pampeluna to obtain succor of 
Spain, and left to Ricalde, and a few nobles, the charge of its defence. 
The latter resolved on retiring, but Ricalde entreated them to stand firm, 
and resist. Thwarted in his attempts, and overruled by his seniors in 
lank and age, he reproached them with cowardice, and throwing himself 
into the citadel, he resolved on defending it to the last extremity. 

When the French (received in Pampeluna with open arms) demanded 
its keys, Ricalde indignantly exclaimed : " Let us endure everything 
rather than surrender." A discharge from the French artillery fol- 
lowed, and soon thereafter an attempt to storm it. The exhortations of 
Ricalde inspired the Spanish soldiers with new courage, and placing 
himself at their head, he drove back the assailants. Taking his stand 
on the ramparts and flaming with rage, he brandished his sword, and 
felled to the earth all that opposed him. A shot from the French artillery 
striking the wall just where he stood, shivered a stone from the ramparts 
which wounded him severely in the right leg ; and the ball, rebounding 
from the shock, broke his left. Ricalde fell senseless, and the garrison 
surrendered. The French advanced, and admiring the courage of their 
youthful adversary, and respecting his bravery, they bore him in a litter 
to the castle of Loyola ; — from thence, he afterward derived his name. 
Our readers need not be told, that the gallant knight of Pampeluna and 
Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the society of Jesuits, are one. 

In this lordly mansion, eight years subsequent to the birth of Luther, 
Ricalde had been born, and one of the most illustrious families in Spain 
claimed him as their son. 

A painful operation became necessary, during which he clenched his 
hands, but uttered no complaints. Driven by necessity to a repose he 
could ill endure, his ardent imagination sought for adventure. The 
books of chivalry he had been accustomed to devour, being temporally 
absent, the lives of the saints, and more especially the life of Christ, du- 
ring the progress of a lingering cure, became his companions. Their 
perusal excited his ardent temperament, and inspired his ambitious soul 
with a desire of imitating their godlike exploits. The stormy life of 
tournaments and battles which had occupied his youth, to the exclusion 
of everything besides, at once lost its charms, and a career of brighter 
glory seemed apparently advancing. The humble labors of the saints, 


and their heroic patience, were at once exalted above all that chivalry 
ever knew. Stretched upon his couch, and writhing under a fever occa- 
sioned by his wounds, he indulged himself in conflicting emotions. The 
world he was planning to renounce, atid that life of holy mortification 
which he contemplated, both appeared before him : one soliciting by its 
pleasures, the other by its severities ; and fearful was the struggle in his 
conscience between the opposing worlds. "What," thought he, " if I 
were to act like St. Francis, or St. Dominic?" From this moment his 
resolution was taken. Rising from his bed, he invited his companions to 
a splendid feast, and without divulging his design, set out unattended for 
the lonely cells of the Benedictine monks, in the rocks of the mountains 
of Montserat. Impelled solely by a wish to become " knight of the Vir- 
gin I\Iarv," and to be renowned for mortifications, and works after the 
manner of saints, he confessed himself for three successive days — gave 
away his costly armor to a mendicant^clothed himself in sackcloth, 
and girded himself with a rope. Then, calling to mind the armed vigil 
of Amadis de Gaul, he suspended his sword at the shrine of the Virgin, 
passed the night in watching in his new and strange attire — and some- 
times on his knees, and then standing, but ever absorbed in prayer, 
and with his pilgrim's staff' in hand, went through all the devout prac- 
tices of which the illustrious and renowned knight, Amadis, had set the 
example. Thus remarks the Jesuit Matfei, the biographer of Loyola : 
" While Satan was stirring up Martin Luther to rebellion against all 
laws, human and divine ; and while that heretic stood up at Worms, de- 
claring impious war against the apostolic see, Christ, by his heavenly 
providence, called forth this new champion ; and binding him by after 
vows and obedience to the Roman pontilf, opposed himself to the licen- 
tious fury of heretical perversity." 

From thence, ere recovered from his wounds, by a circuitous route he 
journeyed on foot to the convent of Mauresa, begging his bread from door 
to door; there spent seven hours each day on his knees, thrice flagella- 
ting himself, and at midnight rose and prayed. He there also allowed his 
hair and nails to grow, until the young and brilliant knight of Pampeluna 
was transformed into the tall, lank, pale, and unpretending monk of 

The time had now arrived when the ideas of religion, which hitherto 
had been to him little more than a form of chivalric devotion, were about 
to assume an importance and a power, of whitih, till then, he had been 
unconscious. Suddenly, the joy he had experienced, left him. He re- 
sorted to prayer for aid, but obtained no rest for his soul. He shuddered, 
as he asked, whether God would desert him after the sacrifices he had 
made ? Gloomy terrors disturbed him ; he shed bitter and repentant tears, 
and sought in vain for that peace which, apparently, he had lost for ever. 
He wandered about, melancholy and dejected ; " his conscience accusing 
him of heaping sin upon sin, until at last, becoming a prey to overwhelm- 
ing terrors, he filled the cloisters with the souiid of his sighs." 


At this crisis, strange thoughts found access to his heart. Obtaining 
no relief in the ordinances of the church, as others had done before, he 
began to doubt their efficacy — but instead of seeking consolation at the 
foot of the cross, he thought of plunging once more into the vanities of the 
age. His soul panted for that world he had renounced ; but his vows 
staring him in the face, he "recoiled from the scene, awe-struck with 

The biographers of Luther and Loyola, have attempted to draw com- 
parisons between the Monk of Mauresa, and the Monk of Wittemburg. 
In many respects, their condition was at one time the same : both were 
sensible of their sins — both sought peace with God, and desired the assu- 
rance of it in their hearts. It has been contended, that had another Stau- 
pitz, as in the case of Luther with the Bible in his hand, presented him- 
self then at the convent, Loyola might have been th.e Luther of the 
Peninsula. Luther and Loyola were at this time brothers, and instead of 
founding two opposing spiritual empires, which for three centuries warred 
against each other, had they been thrown together, " they might perhaps 
have rushed into each other's embraces, and mingled their tears and their 
prayers." In that event, too, the scalping-knife might have gleamed less 
frequently in our forests; and the savage war-whoop, and the cries of 
women and children, less frequently been mingled. 

From this time forward, Luther and Loyola took opposite directions. 
Loyola deluded himself with the belief, that his inward compunctions 
were not from God, but were suggestions of the devil ; and he resolved to 
think no longer of his sins, but to obliterate them, if possible, from his 
memory. Luther looked to Christ — Loyola to himself It was not long 
before visionary attestations confirmed Loyola's conviction. His resolu- 
tions had been to him in place of God's grace, and he had suffered the 
imagination of his own heart to take the place of God's holy word. 
Hence, we see him afterward a dupe to all the illusions of the prince of 

On his way to church, he once followed, lost in thought, the course of 
the Llobrigat, and stopping for a moment, he seated himself on its bank, 
fixed his eyes on the river, which rolled rapidly by him, became lost to 
surrounding objects, and fell into an ecstacy. Things were revealed to 
his sight, such as ordinary men comprehend only after much reading and 
reflection. He rose from his seat, stood on the river's bank, and seemed 
to himself a converted man — then threw himself on his knees before a 
crucifix, erected near by, and resolved to devote himself to that cause 
whose mysteries were thus revealed to his soul. Henceforward his vis- 
ions were more frequent, during which his tears flowed, and his bosom 
heaved with emotion. These frequent apparitions overcome, at last, and 
dissipated all his doubts ; and visionary delusions became at once the 
ruling principle of his life, and the guide of his confidence. Hence the 
difference between Loyola and the reformers. 

On leaving the convent, he repaired to Jerusalem as a pilgrim to its 


holy shrine; and returning from thence, after pursuing several visionary 
schemes, and engaging in some of the wildest and most extravagant ad- 
ventures, as the knight of the blessed Virgin, he entered one of the Span- 
ish universities as a student in theology. He was then about thirty^hree 
years of age. He next went to Paris, where he collected a few associates, 
and prompted by a fanatical spirit or the love of distinction, proposed to 
establish a new religious order. Producing a plan of its constitution and 
laws, which he affirmed were suggested by the inspiration of Heaven, he 
applied to the Roman pontiff, (Paul III.) for its sanction by his authority. 
The pope referred it to a committee of cardinals, who reported against it 
as unnecessary and dangerous. Loyola, however, found means to remove 
their scruples, by adding to the vows of poverty, chastity, and monastic 
obedience, a vow of subserviency to the pope. Its members bound them- 
selves, without reward or support, to go wherever he should direct for the 
service of the church, and to obey his mandates in every part of the globe. 
When the papal authority was trembling to its centre, and attacks from 
eveiy quarter were daily anticipated, this offer was too tempting to be re- 
sisted. The Roman pontiff confirmed the institution, granted the most 
ample privileges to its members, and in 1540, appointed Loyola the first 
general of the order. 

Its primary object was to establish a spiritual dominion over the minds 
of men, of which the pope should appear as the ostensible head, while the 
real power should reside in themselves. To effect this, its constitution 
and policy were singularly adapted, and different from other monastic 
institutions. The design of other religious societies was, to separate their 
members as much as possible from the world — that of the Jesuits was to 
make them its masters. The monk, by acts of self-denial, sought salva- 
tion — the Jesuit, plunged into the secular affairs of men, to maintain the 
interests of the Romish church. 

While the monk was a retired devotee of Heaven, the Jesuit was an act- 
ing and active soldier of the pope. That he might have leisure for active 
service., he was exempt from the austerities required of others. He nei- 
ther chanted nor prayed. " They, (the Jesuits) cannot sing," said their 
enemies ; " for birds of prey never do." Its government was that of an 
absolute monarchy. A general chosen for life, by deputies from the several 
provinces, possessed the power of appointing and removing every officer ; 
administered all its revenues at his pleasure ; disposed of every member 
by his mandate, assigning whatever service, and imposing whatever task 
he pleased. The gradation of rank was only a gradation in slavery. 
All freedom of thought and action was surrendered when the noviciate 
first entered its pale. A perfect despotism was thus established, not only 
over the bodies, but over the minds of a numerous, and for many years, 
one of the most talented, enterprising, and respectable societies in the 
world. Expediency, in its most simple and licentious form, was the basis 
of their morals. Their principles and practices were uniformly ac- 
commodated to the circumstances under which they were placed ; and 


even their bigotry, obdurate as it was, seldom, perhaps never, interfered 
with their interests. In their missionary undertakings, they were equally 
accommodating. One of them in India produced a pedigree, tracing his 
descent from Brahma ; and another in America, assured an Indian chief, 
that " Christ had been a gallant and victorious warrior, who, in the space 
of three years, had scalped an incredible number of men, women and 
children." It was in fact their own authority, and not the authority of 
religion, which they sought to establish ; and Christianity was generally 
as little known when they quit, as when they entered the theatre, or 
scenes of their labors. As the instructors of youth, they supplanted their 
opponents in almost every Catholic kingdom — became the spiritual 
directors of the most exalted in rank, and the confessors and embassadors 
of princes. In order to support their missions, they obtained a licence 
from the court of Rome to trade with the natives they labored to convert, 
and thus carried on an extensive commerce, obtaining settlements and 
xeigning as sovereigns. 

We have been thus particular in tracing the origin, the progress, and 
influence of the_ Jesuits, because the latter once reigned triumphant in 
Illinois, and because tliey were the first who taught its natives to build 
houses — to cultivate the earth, and to rear tame animals — the first who 
taught rude and uncultivated barbarians, to reverence them as saints, and 
to worship them as divinities. 

In 1616, Le Caren, a Franciscan monk, the early friend of Champlain, 
penetrated the lands of the Mohawks, passed through the hunting-grounds 
of the Wyandots, and travelling westward on foot, taking alms of the na- 
tives, reached the rivers of Lake Huron. Before Quebec contained fifty 
inhabitants, Le Caren, with other priests of the Franciscan order, had 
labored for years as missionaries in New-France, and among the nume- 
rous tribes then residing on the waters of the Niagara. 

In 1627, William and Emeric Caen and others, among whom were the 
celebrated Richelieu and Champlain, by a charter from Louis XIII. 
obtained a patent of New-France, and entered upon its government. It 
embraced the whole basin of the St. Lawrence, and of such rivers as 
flowed directly into the sea. It included also Florida, or the country 
south of Virginia, and in 1632 Champlain, whose name is imperishable, 
became its governor. The soul of honor, and pattern of integrity, ardent 
in his devotions, and zealous in all he undertook, he regarded " the sal- 
vation of a soul worth more than the conquest of an empire." The 
climate, however, of New-France, presented no encouragement to agri- 
culture, and the commercial monopoly with which its proprietors were 
invested, was not calculated to foster a colony. Religious enthusiasm 
alone could, therefore, give it vitality. Champlain had selected for his 
companions a number of Franciscan priests, because they were poor and 
free from ambition. The Galilean church, however, had higher objects 
in view, and a prouder sympathy was soon awakened at court in their 
behalf — the Franciscan having, as a mendicant order, been excluded from 

114 '-^"-^ 2IIoT0!lV or ILLINOIS. 

the newly discovered world, the office of converting the natives of Canada 
was intrusted to the Jesuits. Their cloisters at this time were the best 
schools in Europe ; constituting, as they did, a community essentially 
intellectual, and essentially plebeian — bound together by the most rigid 
ties, and having for their end, as already stated, the control of public 
opinion, they were eminently calculated for this great undertaking. 
Their missionaries defied every danger and endured every toil. No 
matter whether in Japan or in China, Ethiopia or California, on the banks 
of the Marathon or the Illinois, the rudest barbarians were invited to 
embrace the gospel. The genius of Champlain could devise no method 
of building up the dominion of France in Canada, but by an alliance with 
the Hurons, and the establishment of missionaries. Religious zeal, there- 
fore, instead of commercial enterprise or royal ambition, carried the power 
of France into the heart of our Continent. 

While puritanism gave to New-England its worship and its schools, the 
Romish church gave to the French settlements in America their altars, 
their hospitals, and their seminaries. The influence of Calvin is still visi- 
ble in almost every New-England village. In Canada, and in all the 
French settlements, the monuments of feudalism and the Catholic church, 
stand side by side. 

Soon after the second occupation of Canada by the French, a number 
of Jesuit missionaries resorted thither, and history and tradition both tes- 
tify to their worth. Passive courage and internal tranquillity were con- 
spicuous in all their acts, and patience and perseverance in all their 
attempts. The amenities of life and opportunities of vain glory, were too 
remote to influence their lives or to affect their character. Though dead 
to the world and borne down by its toils, they still kindled with the fer- 
vor of apostolic zeal, and almost every bay and river, cape and pro- 
montory, aftbrds even in our day some evidence of their presence. No 
sooner had the French succeeded in establishing their authority in Canada, 
than Jesuit missionaries were commissioned to form alliances with the 
numerous savage tribes that inhabited the "Far West." In August, 
1665, Father Claude Allouez, for that purpose resorted thither. Early 
in September of that year, he reached the Falls of St. Mary's, at the out- 
let of Lake Superior ; admiring the beautiful river with its woody isles and 
invitino- bays, that connect it with Lake Huron, he entered the former — 
which the savages reverenced as a divinity, and whose entrance is 
scarcely excelled in the rugged scenery of the north — and landing on 
its southern shore, said mass to untutored savages ; thus consecrating the 
interminable forests upon its borders, and claiming them for his king and 
master. On the first of October he entered the great village of the Chip- 
peways, in the bay of Che-goi-me-gon. The young warriors were then. 
in council, and hostilities with the Sioux of the Mississippi were contem- 
plated. Being admitted to an audience in this vast assembly, he com- 
manded peace in the name of Louis XIV., and offered them an alliance 
against the Iroquois. " The soldiers of France," said he, " will smooth the 


path between the Chippeways and Quebec, brush the pirate canoes from 
the intervening rivers, and leave to the Five Nations no alternative but 
peace or destruction." The admiring savages, who had never seen a white 
man before, looked on with astonishment, and were amazed at the pictures 
he displayed of hell and the last judgment. He soon lighted the Catholic 
torch at the council-fires of more than twenty nations. The Chippeways 
pitched their tents neax his cabin to receive instructions. The Pottawato- 
mies came hither from Lake Michigan, and invited him to their homes. 
The Sacs and Foxes imitated their example, and the Illinois, diminished 
in numbers and glory by repeated wars with the Sioux of the Mississippi 
on one hand, and the Iroquois, or the Five Nations, armed with muskets, 
on the other, came hither to rehearse their sorrows. 

After residing for about two years with the Chippeways, Allouez re- 
turned to Quebec, to procure and send from thence means to establish a 
mission. During his absence several priests had prived from France, 
and among them James Marquette, the first European that trod our soil. 

Marquette, in 1668, repaired to St. Mary's, the outlet of Lake Supe- 
rior, and was there employed with Allouez and others in extending the 
influence of France. He belonged to that extraordinary class of men, 
(the Jesuit missionaries,) who, mingling happiness with suffering, pur- 
chased for themselves undying glory. Exposed to the inclemencies of na- 
ture and to the savage, he took his life in his hand and bade them defiance ; 
waded through water and through snows without the comfort of a fire, 
subsisted on pounded maize, and was frequently without food, except the 
unwholesome moss which he gathered from the rocks. He labored inces- 
santly in the cause of his Redeemer — slept without a resting-place, and 
travelled far and wide, but never without peril. Still, said he, life in 
the wilderness had its charms — his heart swelled with rapture as he 
moved over waters transparent as the most limpid fountain. Living like 
a patriarch beneath his tent, each day selecting a new site for his dwell- 
ing, which he erected in a few minutes, with a never- failing floor of green, 
inlaid with flowers provided by nature ; his encampment on the prairie 
resembled the pillar of stones where Jacob felt the presence of God — the 
venerable oaks around his tent the tree of Mamre, beneath which Abra- 
ham broke bread with angels. 

While a resident at St. Mary's, he resolved to explore the Mississippi, 
of whose magnificence many tales had been told ; and for that purpose 
selected a young savage of the Illinois tribe for his companion, from 
whom he imperfectly learned their language. Previous, however, to his 
departure, the ministers of Louis the XIV. and the great Colbert, with 
Talon, the intendant of the colony, had formed a plan to extend the power 
of France from sea to sea ; and to this end, Nicholas Perot appeared at 
St. Mary's as agent of the grand monarque, and proposed a congress of 
nations. Invitations were sent to all the tribes around and beyond the 
head waters of Lake Superior, even to the wandering hordes of the re- 
motest north : to the Pottawatomies of Green Bay, and to the Miamies of 


Chicago. In May, 1671, this congress of nations met by appointment 
at the Falls of St. Mary. St. Lusan, from the borders of the Kennebec, 
appeared as the delegate of Talon. It was then announced to the assem- 
bled envoys of the wild republicans thus congregated together from the 
springs of the St. Lawrence, the Mississippi, and the Red River, that they 
were placed under the protection of Louis XIV., the King of France. 
Allouez acted as interpreter, and brilliantly clad officers from the veteran 
armies of Europe, mingled in the throng. " A cross of cedar was there 
raised, and the whole company, bowing before the emblem of man's re- 
demption, chanted to its glory a hymn of the seventh century ;" and 
planting by its side a cedar column, on which were engraved the arms of 
the Bourbons, it was supposed that the authority and faith of France were 
pennanently united upon the Continent. 

In 1673, the long anticipated discovery of the Mississippi was accom- 
plished by JMarquette,\accompanied by a French gentleman from Canada 
by the name of Joliet. Of the latter, no record it is believed remains, 
but of this one excursion. The celebrated mound, known as Mount Joliet, 
on the river Des Plames, near the present village of Juliet, in Will county, 
bears his name. 

The project was favored by Talon, the intendant of New^France, who 
wished to ascertain before he left Canada, whether the Mississippi poured 
its mighty floods into the Pacific Ocean, or into the Gulf of Mexico. 

Some Pottawatomy Indians, to whom Marquette was known as a mis- 
sionary, heard his proposal with perfect astonishment. " Those distant 
nations,'"' said they, " never spare the stranger — the great river abounds 
with monsters, which devour both men and canoes." '• I shall gladly," 
exclaimed Marquette, in reply, " lay down my life for the salvation of 
souls." The tawny savage, and the humble missionary of Jesus, there- 
upon united in prayer. 

At the last village ever visited by the French on Fox river, (of Green 
Bay,) a delegation of Kickapoo, Macoutin, and Miami warriors, assembled 
on the 9th of June, 1673, in council, to receive the pilgrim. " My com- 
panion," said Marquette, •'•' is an envoy of France to discover new coun- 
tries ; and I am embassador from God to enlighten them with the gospel." 
Joliet offered them, presents, and requested two guides for the morrow. 
The request was granted, and a mat to serve as a couch for the voyage, 
was given in return. 

On the 10th of June, 1673, this meek and humble follower of Jesus, 
with Joliet for his associate, five Frenchmen as companions, and two Al- 
gonquins for guides, transported on their shoulders across the narrow 
portage which divides the Fox river, of Green Bay, from the Wisconsin, 
of the Mississippi, two bark canoes, and launched them forth upon its 
waters. They had now left the stream that, flowing onward, would have 
borne their light bark to the castle of Quebec, and stood already in the 
valley of the Mississippi. " Our guides," says Marquette, "returned at 
night, leaving us alone in the hands of Providence." Sailing down the 


Wisconsin, between alternate hills and prairies, without seeing man or 
the wonted beasts of the forests, during which no sound broke the appal- 
ling silence, save the ripple of their own canoes, and the lowing of the 
buffalo, they reached on the 7th, the great " father of waters," which 
they entered " with a joy that could not be expressed ;" and raising their 
sails under new skies, and to unknown breezes, floated down its majestic 
stream "over broad clear sand-bars," glided past inlets swelling from its 
bosom, with tufts of massive thickets, between the " broad plains of Il- 
linois and Iowa, all garlanded with majestic forests, and chequered with 
illimitable prairies and island groves." 

On descending the Mississippi about sixty leagues, they discovered an 
Indian trail, leading apparently to the water's edge, and on examination, 
found it led westward from thence, to a beautiful and extensive prairie. 
It was like the human footstep which Robinson Crusoe saw in the sand. 

Marquette and Joliet, thereupon, unhesitatingly, with no other protec- 
tion than Heaven, left their canoes, " to brave at every hazard a meeting 
with the savages." After walking about six miles, they saw an Indian 
village on the bank of the river, and two others in its neighborhood. The 
river was what is now called the Des Moines. It would, therefore, seem 
that Marquette and Joliet were the first white men who trod the soil of 
Iowa. After commending themselves to God, they uttered in the Illinois 
language, a loud cry, and were answered forthwith by a savage. 

Four of their old men advanced immediately to meet them, bearing the 
pipe of peace, " brilliant with many-colored plumes." " We are," said 
they, in a language which Marquette understood, " Illinois," that is, "we 
are men;" and offered the calumet. An aged chief received them at his 
cabin, and with uplifted hands, exclaimed : " How beautiful is the sun. 
Frenchman, when thou comest to visit us I our whole village awaits thee 
— thou shalt enter in peace all our dwellings." A grand council was 
immediately held, and Marquette spoke to them of God, their Creator, 
and of Christ, their Redeemer. He spoke also of the great captain of the 
French, the Governor of Canada, who had chastised the Five Nations, and 
commanded peace. He questioned them respecting the Mississippi, and 
the tribes that possessed its banks : and after spending six days in their 
lodges, and receiving an invitation to repeat his visit, he departed with 
reluctance, accompanied by several hundred warriors, and sought his 
canoes. Previous, however, to his departure, an Indian chief selected a 
peace-pipe from among his warriors, embellished with the head and neck 
of brilliant birds, and feathered over with plumage of various hues, which 
he hung around the neck of Marquette, " the mysterious arbiter of peace 
and war, the sacred calumet, the white man's protection among savages." 

On reaching their boats, the little group proceeded onward. " I did 
not," says Marquette, " fear death ; I should have esteemed it the great- 
est happiness to have died for the glory of God." After passing perpen- 
dicular rocks, which appeared like monsters, they heard at a distance 
the noise of the Missouri — in the Algonquin language, the Pekitanoni — and 


when they came to its confluence with the Mississippi, where the former 
rushes like a conqueror into the latter, dragging it triumphantly to the 
sea, the humble missionary, it is said, resolved in his mind one day, to 
ascend its mighty current and ascertain its source ; and descending from 
thence toward the west, publish the gospel to a people of which he had 
never heard. 

Passing onward, they floated past the Ohio, then, and for a long time 
thereafter, known as the Wabash ; and visited the peaceful Shawnees upon 
its banks, who, having quailed at the name and exploits of the Iroquois, 
received them v/ith open arms. 

They soon reached a country of impenetrable cane-brakes, so close and 
strong as to resist even the buffalo ; and the insects being intolerable, 
they folded their sails into an awning, as a protection, in part, against 
their sting, and to resist the heat of the sun, which had become oppres- 
sive. The prairies here vanished, and immense forests of white-wood 
succeeded. The Indians too, had guns, vvhich denoted with unerring cer- 
tainty, their former intercourse with Europeans. In latitude 33° north, 
they came to the village of Michigamia, on the west bank of the Missis- 
sippi, just above the confluence of the Arkansas. 

They were already in the region once visited by De Soto, and now 
thought Marquette, '• we must seek aid of the Virgin." Here they were 
met by a fleet of canoes, madt; from the trunks of trees. The natives 
were armed with bows and arrows, with clubs, axes, and bucklers ; and 
advanced with continued whoops, as in case of war. Marquette and his 
companions, having left the region of the Algonquins, and arrived among 
the Sioux and Chickasaws, could now only speak by an interpreter. He 
held, however, aloft, the peace-pipe given him by the Illinois, and " God 
touched the hearts of the old men, who checked the impetuosity of the 
young ;" and throwing their bows and arrows into their canoes, as a 
token of peace, prepared for the discoverers a hospitable I'eception. A 
deputation of young warriors, escorted them eight or ten leagues to the 
village of Arkansea, which terminated their voyage. They were there 
hospitably entertained with bread of maize, and smoked the calumet in 
peace. The wealth of the whole tribe consisted in buffalo skins, and 
their weapons were axes of steel, decisive proof of their commerce with 

Being now satisfied that the Mississippi entered the Gulf of Mexico, 
west of Florida, and east of California ; and having spoken to the Indians 
of God, and the mysteries of the Catholic faith, Marquette and Joliet pre- 
pared to ascend the stream. 

On reaching the 39th degree of north latitude, they entered the Illinois 
river, and ascending it to its source, observed a country for fertility with- 
out a parallel. The tribe of Illinois Indians which occupied its banks, 
invited Marquette to come and reside among them. He expressed, how- 
ever, a desire to pursue his travels, and one of the chiefs, with several o> 
their warriors, conducted the party by way of Chicago, to Lake Michigan ; 


and late in August, 1673, they arrived at Green Bay. Joliet returned to 
Quebec, to announce the discovery ; and Marquette remained to preach 
the gospel to the Miamies, near Chicago. Two years afterward, sailing 
from thence to Mackinaw, he entered a little river in the State of Mich- 
igan, called by his name ; and erecting on its bank a rude altar, said 
mass after the rites of the Catholic church, and being left at his own re- 
quest alone, " he kneeled down by its side, and offering to the Mightiest, 
solemn thanks and supplications," fell asleep to wake no more. The 
canoe men who accompanied him thither, dug his grave in the sand. A 
light breeze from the lake sighed his requiem, and the Algonquin nation 
became his mourners." 

Thus perished James Marquette, of Leon, in Picardy, on the 18th of 
May, 1675, the meek, single-hearted, pious, unpretending missionary ; 
the discoverer of a world, the red man's friend, and humanity's cham- 
pion. Future ages will do justice to his memory. 

The fame of Marquette induced others to follow in his wake, and 
among them, Robert Cavalier de la Salle. He was a native of France, 
of a good family, of extensive learning, and an ample fortune. In early 
life he became a member of the society of Jesuits, and renounced his pa- 
ternal inheritance, in order to become so. He had profited much by their 
instruction, and had received from their most celebrated masters, great ap- 
plause for his purity. Previous to the event of which we are about to 
speak, hp had sought, and at length obtained, an honorable discharge 
from their fraternity. When the attention of Europe, in 1667, was di- 
rected to New-France, he resorted thither. Poverty, indomitable energy 
of purpose, and a spirit of adventure, circumscribed only by the globe, 
were his only companions. With them to direct his steps he had nothing 
to fear, and with fame and fortune before him, each beckoning him on, 
he had much to hope. 

He first established himself as a fur-trader at La Chine.* Encouraged 
by Talon, the intendant of Louis XIV., in New-France, he explored 
Lake Ontario, and ascended from thence tp Lake Erie. Returning af- 
terward to his native country, by the aid of Frontenac, he obtained the 
rank of nobility ;f at the same time ap extensive grant of lands upon the 
St. Lawrence, including Fort Frontenac, (now Kingston) was given him 
by the grand monarque, upon copdition that he should rebuild the fort 
with stone, and maintain a garrison tTiere at his own expense. 

The wilderness around him soon blossomed as a rose ; his flocks and 
herds multiplied exceeding'iy, and the Iroquois, or Five Nations, built their 

* La Chine is on the iptend of Monti-eal. A shorter way to Cliina and Japan was 
then anticipated ; and La Salle supposed that the western lakes he was about to explore, 
were fed by rivers wWch interlocked with those flowing into the China Seas ; to com- 
memorate these anticipations, he gave to his trading-house the name of La Chine, which 
it still retains. 

t Charlevoix says, that a patent of nobility was received by La Salle from the king, but 
of what rank or degree, we are uninformed. 



cabins under the protection of his guns. The French emigrants sought 
his aid. The Franciscan monks again tolei-ated in Canada, renewed their 
mission ; the forests fell at his command, vessels with decks rose up at his 
bidding, and fortiuie was, apparently, about to smile on this daring ad- 

Unfortunately for him, Joliet, descending from the upper lakes about 
this time, passed the bastions of Fort Frontenac, and spread the " great 
and glorious news " of wonderful discoveries achieved by himself, and 
others, at the west ; and La Salle, already excited by perusing in his re- 
treat the voyages of Columbus, and the rambles of De Soto, longed for 
adventure. Hearing, too, from the warriors of the Five Nations, with 
whom he was in habits of daily intercourse, the most splendid accounts 
of a new, and hitherto undiscovered country, bordering upon the Ohio, he 
conceived the design of making it the country of his prince. 

It was Robert Cavalier de la Salle who first proposed the union of New- 
France with the valley of the Mississippi, and suggested their close con- 
nection by a line of military posts. He proposed also to open the com- 
merce of Europe to them both, and for that purpose repaired to France. 

Louis XIV., previous to this, had entered Parliament, as Chateau- 
briand justly remai'ks, " with a whip in his hand, the fit emblem of an 
absolute monarch." The great Colbert was then his principal minister. 
La Salle sought an interview with the latter. Colbert listened with de- 
light to the gigantic schemes which La Salle had formed ; and at the 
special instance of Colbert's eldest son, the Marquis de Seignelay, a youth 
of extraordinary promise, La Salle obtained an exclusive monopoly in 
buffalo skins, and a commission from the king to explore the valley of 
the Mississippi, in the following 


Granted bt the King of France to the Sieur de la Salle, on the 12th of Mat, 1678. 


Louis, by the grace of God, kin^ of France and of Navarre. To our deai; and well- 
beloved Robert Cavalier, Sieur de la Salle, greeting. 

We have received with favor the veiy humble petition, which has been presented to us 
in your name, to permit you lo endeavor to discover the western part of our country of 
New-France ; and we have consented to fois proposal the more willingly, because there 
is nothing we have more at heart than the discovery of this country, through which it is 
probable that a passage may be found to Mexico ; and because your diligence in clearing 
the lands which we granted to you by the decree oJ ourcouncU of the 13th of May, 1675, 
and, by Letters Patent of the same date, to form hab^ations upon the said lands, and to 
put Fort Frontenac in a good state of defence, the seigijory and govermnent whereof we 
likewise granted to you, affords us every reason to hope you will succeed to our sat-» 
isfaction, and to the advantage of our subjects of the said country. 

For these reasons, and others thereunto moving us, we have permitted, and do hereby 
permit you, by these presents, signed by our hand, to endeavor to discover the western 
part of our country of New- France, and, for the execution of this enterprise, to construct 
forts wherever you shall deem it necessary ; which it is our will you shall hold on the 
same terms and conditions as Fort Frontenac, agreeably and conformably to our said 
Letters Patent of the 13 th of May, 1675, which we have confirmed, as far ixs is needful, 


and hereby confirm by these presents. And it is our pleasure that they be executed ac- 
cording to their form and tenor. 

To accomplish this, and everything above mentioned, we give you full powers ; on con- 
dition, however, that you shall finish this enterprise within five years, in default of which 
these presents shall be void and of none effect ; that you carry on no trade whatever with 
the savages called Outaouacs, and others who bring their beaver-skins and other peltries 
to Montreal ; and that the whole shall be done at your expense, and that of your com- 
pany, to which we have granted the privilege of trade in bulfalo-skins. And we call on 
Sieur de Frontenac, our governor and lieutenant-general, and on the Sieur de Chesneau, 
intendant of justice, police and finance, and on the officers who compose the supreme 
council in the said country, to affix their signatures to these presents ; for such is our 
pleasure. Given at St. Germain en Laye, this 12th day of May, 1678, and of our reign 
the thirty-fifth. 

(Signed,) LOUIS. 

And lower down, by the king, 

Colbert. • 
And sealed with the great seal of yellow wax. 

The act of the governor, attached to these, is dated the 5th of November, 1678. 

Accompanied by Tonti, an Italian of considerable eminence, and father 
Hennepin, a Franciscan friar, whose name has long been familiar to the 
inhabitants of Illinois, and a number of mechanics and mariners, with 
military and naval stores, and goods, and merchandise for the Indian 
trade, he arrived in 1678 at Fort Frontenac ; and in the fall of that year 
a wooden canoe of ten tons, the first that ever entered the Niagara river, 
bore a part of his company to the foot of its mighty cataract. A trading- 
house was immediately established in its vicinity, and the keel of a small 
vessel of sixty tons, called the Griffin,* at once laid near the mouth of 
the Tonewanta creek, in the State of New- York, -f La Motte and Father 
Hennepin soon thereafter visited the Senecas, and established with those 
once powerful tribes, the most friendly relations. La Salle, in the mean- 
time, urged forward the completion of his vessel; gathering, at the 
same time, furs from the natives, and sent on messengers with merchan- 
dise to trade for furs and skins, and to apprise the Illinois of his intended 
visit, and prepare the way for his reception. 

In the summer of 1679, six months after its keel was laid, his little 
barque of sixty tons was launched on the Upper Niagara ; and the aston- 
ished natives first saw a vessel, with its sails spread, on the waters of Lake 
Erie. (See note 1.) They listened with astonishment to the sound of its 
artillery reverberating from shore to shore, and heard, for the first time, the 
Te Deum chanted by its crew. On the 7th of August, 1669, a colony of 
fur-traders for the valley of the Mississippi, embarked on board, sailed 
up the lake, where hostile fleets have since contended for victory, ascend- 
ed the Detroit river amid verdant islands, and after escaping a storm on 

* In compliment to the Count de Frontenac, whose armorial bearings were adorned by 
two griffiins, as supporters. 

+ It is said, by some, that the Griffin was built at the mouth of the Chippeway creek, 
in Canada. q^ 


Lake Huron, which threatened all hands with destruction, (see note 2,) and 
establishing a military and trading post at Mackinaw, cast anchor on the 
27th of August at Green Bay. Having sold his goods at an immense 
profit, and purchased of the natives a rich cargo of furs, the Griffin was 
immediately dispatched to the Niagara river for its disposal, in order to 
make a remittance to his creditors, while La Salle and his companions re- 
paired in bark canoes to the head waters of Lake Michigan. (See note 3.) 
Entering the river St. Joseph, where Allouez had previously gathered a vil- 
lage of Miamies, he erected a small trading-house with palisades, then, and 
for a long time after, known as the Fort of the Miamies. His whole-for- 
tune was now concentrated in the Griffin, and of her no tidings were heard. 
Wear}' of delay, he resolved to explore the interior of Illinois, and leav- 
ing ten men to guard his little fortress, La Salle, accompanied by Henne- 
pin, Tonti, and about thirty followers, ascended the St. Joseph, and trans- 
porting his bark canoes across a short portage, made dangerous by a snow- 
storm, he entered the Kankakee, and descending to its mouth, reached the 
site of an Indian village, near Ottawa. This was in December, 1679. 
The natives were then absent, passing the winter, as usual, in the chase. 
From thence he descended the Illinois as far as Lake Pimiteowy, (now 
Lake Peoria,) where he met large parties of Indians, who, desirous of ob- 
taining axes and fire-arms, offered him the calumet, and agreed to an alli- 
ance.* They were Illinois. The Five Nations had, previously, extended 
their destructive ravages far to the west, and eight hundred prisoners at 
one time, it is said, were carried into slavery. The Illinois then trembled 
a\ the name of the Iroquois, or Five Nations, and quailed beneath the terror 
inspired by their arms. La Salle and his party, therefore, were received 
by the natives with great joy, and when they afterward learned that col- 
onies were to be established in their neighborhood, their exultation was 
unbounded. They described in glowing colors the course and current of 
the Mississippi, and offered to conduct them thither. The prudence of 
La Salle, who was the life and spirit of the enterprise, immediately won 
their confidence. His followers, hovv'ever, soon despaired. Of the Grif- 
fin no tidings came. " She must," said they, " have been wrecked ; if 
so, La Salle is a ruined man." La Salle, who never desponded, exerted 
all his means to revive their hopes, and sought assistance even from desr 
pair. Fear and discontent, Kowever, pervaded the little band, and they, 
with one voice, demanded his return. " Our strength and safety," said 
La Salle, '• is in our union. Remain with me till spring, and none shall 

* This harmony was soon interrupted. One Monso, a chief of the Mascoutins, a 
tribe then inhabiting the country on the Fox river, accompanied by several Miamies, who 
brought valuable presents with them, during the night visited the IlUnois, as he said, to 
warn them against the designs of La Salle. Monso reported to the lUinois that La Salle 
was in a league with the Iroquois, and had come in advance of an army from that formi- 
dable nation, to uiiiie his forces in au attack on the IlUnois. La Salle being apprised of 
the intrigues going on against him, managed the affair with such dexterity as to recover 
their friendship, though not perhaps to eradicate all suspicion. 


remain thereafter, except from choice." He commenced immediately 
building a fort a little above where Peoria now stands, and thwarted, as it 
were, by destiny, despairing almost himself, and writhing in agony, he 
named it Creve Coeur, (that is, broken-hearted.) ■ 

Additional resources being now required to prosecute his voyag.e, and 
sails and cordage needed for the vessels he was about to construct, in 
order to descend the Mississippi — La Salle, ruined apparently in fortune, 
by the loss of the Griffin, supposed by many to have been burnt by the 
savages, and her crew massacred ; pursued by enemies at Quebec, and 
elsewhere • surrounded by nations whose friendship was uncertain ; in a 
wilderness almost without limits, one thousand live hundred miles distant 
from any prospect of succor — resolved, in his mighty mind, to set out im- 
mediately on foot for Canada in quest of aid. Having secured his men 
in winter-quarters at Fort Creve Cceur, as well as circumstances would 
permit, and intrusted its command to Tonti, with directions to fortify 
Rock Fort, a cliff on the Illinois river, rising to a great height above its 
banks, in the centre of a beautiful country, interspersed with extensive 
prairies — and having dispatched Father Hennepin to explore the Upper 
Mississippi, La Salle, accompanied by three others, in the month of March, 
1680, with a musket, a pouch of powder and shot, a blanket, and skins, 
of which to make moccasons, set out for Kingston, (then Fort Frontenac,) 
in Upper Canada. His thoughts on that occasion, " no tongue can 
adequately tell." Following the highlands that divide the vv'aters of 
Lake Michigan and Lake Erie from the waters of the Ohio, he trudged 
on through forests hithei'to impervious to white men ; waded through 
marshes and melting snows, the running brook slaking his thirst, and 
his unerring rifle supplying him with food — without covering, save the 
canop}'- of Heaven, and no bed but the earth, and arrived safely at Fort 
Frontenac, which still acknowledged him for its lord. La Salle was not 
the man to despair. Fitted by nature for almost any emergency, new re- 
sources awaited him. Additional supplies were at once furnished, and 
new adventurers flocked to his standard. With these, he returned once 
more to the little garrison he had left, but not to hope or joy. 

During his absence Father Hennepin, accompanied by two oarsmen, 
Ako and de Gay, descended the Illinois to its junction with the Missis- 
sippi, and invoking the guidance of St. Anthony of Padua, ascended the 
latter, beyond the mouth of the Missouri, to the falls of St. Anthony, (so 
named by Father Hennepin, from the chief patron of the expedition.) 
He there engraved a cross and the arms of France, upon a tree near the 
cataract, rambled about for a short time in its vicinity, and was taken 
prisoner with his two men by the Sioux, and carried from thence to an 
Indian village on one of the upper branches of that river, where he was 
robbed of all he had. He was liberated soon afterward from captivity, 
and returned with his two men by way of the Wisconsin and Fox river 
to the French mission-house at Green Bay. He went immediately to 
France, and wrote an account of his discoveries, which he dedicated to 


"the great Colber." In this no mention is made of his descent to the 
mouth of the Mississippi. (See note 4.) 

Soon after La Salle's departure, Tonti, on whom the command of the 
little garrison at Cre've Coeur devolved, commenced fortifying Rock 
Fort, the cliff already referred to. He was thwarted, however, in his at- 
tempts, by the desertion of several of his followers. In addition to his 
other calamities, the enemies of La Salle had excited the Iroquois, or 
Five Nations, to hostilities ; and in September, 1680, a large number of 
their warriors descending the river in a hostile manner, threatened Tonti 
and his enterprise with ruin. An interview took place between him and 
their chiefs, the purport of which is still unknown. It seems, however, 
that Tonti and some others, yet faithful to his interests, (the aged Fran- 
ciscan, Gabriel de la Reboard, who was cruelly massacred, only except- 
ed,) immediately thereafter fled to Lake Michigan, and sought and ob- 
tained shelter from the Miamies, or Pottawatomies of Chicago. When 
La Salle afterward returned, with a supply of men and stores for rigging 
a barque with which to descend the river, he found the fort erected by 
him entirely deserted ; and thereupon visited Green Bay, recommenced 
trade, and established friendly intercourse with the natives ; found Tonti 
and his companions, embarked from thence, left Chicago on the 4th of 
January, 1682, and after building a spacious barge on the Illinois river, 
in the early part of that year, descended " the Mississippi to the sea." 
(See note 5.) 

This, unquestionably, was the first descent of that river yet achieved. 
La Salle saw, at once, the resources of its mighty valley. As he floated 
down the stream — erecting a cabin on the first Chickasav/ bluff", raising a 
Cross near the Arkansas, and planting the arms of France on the Gulf 
of Mexico — his heart dilated with joy. His discerning eye saw, in ad- 
vance, the gathering multitudes from all quarters of the world, resorting 
thither in search of a home. He listened, in imagination, to " the trum- 
pet's clangor, and the cannon's roar," and claiming the whole country 
for France; in honor of Louis XIV., under whose patronage its discov- 
ery was achieved, he gave it the name of Louisiana. Having descended 
the Mississippi to its mouth, and made such observations as he thought 
proper, La Salle prepared to return. On ascending the river, a part of 
his company were left behind. These settled at Kaskaskia and Cahokia, 
and in their vicinity. This was in 1682. Other emigrants from Canada 
joined them, and each became a flourishing and populous village. 

While the French retained possession of Illinois, Kaskaskia was their 
principal town. Charlevoix visited it in 1721. It contained at that time 
a college of Jesuits, and about a hundred families. It will, therefore, be 
perceived, that Kaskaskia and Cahokia are the oldest towns on the Mis- 
sissippi. New-Orleans and St. Louis were then, and for some time there- 
after, wholly unknown. La Salle returned immediately to Canada, and 
from thence to France, and gave an account of the paradise he had seen. 
Louis XIV. was, at that time, at the summit of his prosperity. The 


great Colbert, who had aroused by his efforts the industry of France, but 
whose system of commerce and manufactures rested on no firmer basis 
than exclusive monopolies, was in his grave. His son, however, was 
minister of Marine, and partook of his father's genius. He listened con- 
fidingly to the reports brought thither by the messengers from another 
world. In the early part of 1684, by his order, preparations for the set- 
tlement of Louisiana were completed on an extensive scale ; and in July 
of that year, a fleet loaded with emigrants, and everything essential for 
their comfort, embarked from Rochelle in France, for this land of pro- 
mise. It consisted of four vessels, and carried two hundred and eighty 
persons. Of these, one hundred were soldiers ; about thirty were volun- 
teers ; and two of them nephews of La Salle. Three of them were 
Franciscan, and three ecclesiastics of the order of St. Sulpice. One also 
was a brother of La Salle. There were on board several mechanics, and 
some women, all of which indicated on the part of the projectors, a fixed 
resolution to establish a colony. The mechanics, however, were poor 
workmen, illy versed in their respective trades, and of but little or no 
reputation ; and the soldiers, commanded by Joutel, the historian of the 
expedition, a man of truth and candor, were " spiritless vagabonds ; with- 
out discipline and without experience." The volunteers were reckless 
adventurers, with indefinite expectations ; and Beaujeau, the commander, 
was deficient in judgment, unfit for his station, envious, proud, self-willed, 
and self-conceited. From such a motley collection, nothing ought to have 
been expected ; and but little, in fact, was accomplished. The voyage 
from its commencement was unpropitious. A mast broken by the tempest 
caused the fleet to return, and the voyage was commenced anew. Diffi- 
culties arose between La Salle and Beaujeau, in all of which the latter, as 
appears on record, was uniformly in the wrong. These difficulties, how- 
ever, impeded their voyage, and rendered the situation of the crew and 
the passengers, not only uncomfortable, but at times dangerous in the- 

On the 10th of January, 1685, they inadvertently passed the mouth of 
=the Mississippi. Discovering afterward their error, La Salle wished to 
return. Beaujeau however refused, and they continued on their course, 
till they arrived in the Bay of Matagorda, in Texas. La Salle, believing 
the streams which had their outlet in the bay, to be branches of the Mis- 
sissippi, or leading to its vicinity, resolved immediately to disembark. 
While he was endeavoring thus to do, and was straining every rierve to 
insure their safety, the store-ship containing most of their effects, was un- 
fortunately wrecked. Those charged with its safety, viewing this new 
calamity with seeming indifference, La Salle obtained boats from the 
fleet, and by great efforts saved a part of the stores for immediate use. 
Night coming on, and with it a gale of wind, the crazy ship was dashed 
literally to pieces, and the provisions which had been provided by order 
of the king, scattered on the sea. To heighten their distress, the natives 
came down from the interior to plunder the wreck ; and two of La Salle's 


soldiers or volunteers, were unfortunately slain. Consternation at once 
filled every bosom. To La Salle their misfortunes were all imputed ; 
even that of the wreck and the gale. Some of the men Avho had landed, 
reentered the fleet, which set sail immediately, leaving a desponding 
company of two hundred and thirty souls, huddled together in a fort, 
built of fragment? collected from the wreck. To La Salle, as to the spirit 
of the storm, eveiy eye was at once directed. His active genius con- 
trolled, and his persevering energy stimulated, the puny irritable minds 
of those around him to extraordinary efforts, which surprised their leader, 
and sometimes even themselves. A beautiful spot was thereupon selected, 
for a fortified post on the Bay of Matagorda, verdant with grass, and dot- 
ted with forest trees, and named St. Louis. Here, under a burning sun 
in June, the colonists erected with great labor, a shelter of trees — felled 
in a grove, and dragged a league and upward, across the prairie-^La 
Salle being the architect, and marking the beams and mortices, and tenons 
himself. Here also, a house was framed of parts of the wreck brought up 
in canoes, and covered, as was the former, with skins of the buffalo. 

This was the first settlement made in Texas ; and according to the 
prevailing notions of that day, Texas became a part of Louisiana. 

Desperate and destitute as the colonists were, they still exceeded in 
numbers those who first landed in Virginia, or those who embarked on 
board the Mayflower; and possessed, as Bancroft justly remarks, '• from 
the bounty of Louis XIV., more than was contributed by all the English 
monarchs together, for the twelve united colonies on the Atlantic. 

La Salle had scarcely finished his encampment, ere he prepared to 
seek the Mississippi, in canoes. After an absence of four months, and 
the loss of twelve or thirteen of his followers, he returned in rags, having 
entirely failed in his object. His presence, however, as usual, inspired, 
new hopes ; and in April, 1686, he plunged once more into the forest, 
with several companions, lured thither by brilliant fictions of exhaustless 
mines in the vicinity of Mexico.* He returned afterward from thence, 
with a few horses only, and a supply of maize and beans. A short time 
before his return, the little bark which had remained with the colony, 
was carelessly wrecked. La Salle heard the intelligence, and drank 
the last drop from the cup of affliction without a murmur. Fortune and 
fame had now taken leave of him, apparently for ever. His colony, di- 
minished in number to about fifty, and those discontented with their 
leader and their lot, were prepared for any and almost every crime. 
Heaven and earth, man and the elements, seemed now to have conspired 
in order to effect his ruin. One resource, however, and only one re- 
mained : it was the giant energy, the indomitable will, of Robert Cheva- 
lier de la Salle. 

No Spanish settlement was, at that time, nearer than Pamico — no 

* This expedition in pursuit of mines, though frequently spoken of, is perhaps ques 


French settlement than Illmois. In this emergency he resolved to visit 
the latter, and, if necessary, go to Canada in quest of supplies. Leaving 
about twenty of his men at St. Louis, he departed with the residue, six- 
teen in number, on the 12th of January, 1687, for Canada. Taking the 
wild horses received from the natives, to transport his baggage, he fol- 
lowed the tracks of the buffalo, pasturing his horses at night upon the 
prairie ; ascended streams of which he had never yet heard — marched 
through groves and plains of surpassing beauty, amid herds of deer, and 
droves of buffaloes ; now fording the rapid torrent, now building a bridge, 
by throwing some monarch of the forest across the stream, till he had 
passed the basin of the Colorado, and came to a branch of the Trinity 

In his train were two men, whose names were Duhaut and L'Arch- 
iveque. Each had embarked some capital in the enterprise, and re- 
garded the other, for immediate purposes, as his friend. Impatient of 
control, Duhaut, previous to this, had shown symptoms of mutiny. 
Avarice, maddened by suffering, had excited in his bosom the fiercest 
passions — the most ungovernable rage and thirst for vengeance. 

There was also in the train of La Salle a young man by the name of 
Moringuet, a nephew of his. On the 17th of March, 1687, the whole 
party having reached, as before related, a branch of the Trinity, indulged 
themselves in hunting the buffalo, and young Moringuet was invited by 
Duhaut and his associate, to take charge of the spoils. 

Moringuet, hasty and passionate, not considering where he was, nor 
with whom he had to deal ; provoked, too, by Duhaut's insolence, used 
expressions before the latter reflecting on his fidelity ; a quarrel imme- 
diately succeeded, and Moringuet was barbarously murdered. La Salle, 
surprised ^t his nephew's delay, on the 20th went to seek him. On 
reaching a spot near the river, he saw eagles hovering around. Suspect- 
ing his nephew's fate, and at the same time anticipating his own, he fired 
an alarm-gun. Duhaut and his associate started from their covert, and 
crossed the river ; the former skulked in the grass. " Where," said 
La Salle to the latter, -'is my nephew ?" Before he had time to speak, 
Duhaut fired, and La Salle was no more ; without uttering a word, he 
had fallen dead. The conspirators shouted : " There thou liest, great 
Bassa ! there thou liest !" and despoiling his remains, left them naked on 
the prairie. (See note 6.) 

The friend of Colbert, the companion of the governor of Canada, the 
protege of Louis XIV. — he, who had extended by his toils and sufferings 
the dominions of France, from the Niagara to the Gulf of Mexico, and 
planted her lilies on the ramparts of Mackinaw, and the waters of the 
Mississippi — became thus a prey to its vultures. 

La Salle, universally regarded as the father of French colonization in 
the great valley of the Mississippi, was an extraordinary man. For vast ' 
comprehension, he had scarcely an equal among his countrymen. His 
knowledge of human nature, his ready application of his own and others' 


resources in untried circumstances ; his resignation to the will of Heaven ; 
his magnanimity of soul, his power over affliction, his energy of purpose, 
his courage, patience, and perseverance ; his ceaseless efforts to promote 
the interests of his country, his unfaltering hope, and his untimely end, 
will secure him an exalted niche in the temple of Fame. 

His death was the commencement only of crime ; Duhaut and Hiens, 
another conspirator, attempting afterward to appropriate to their use an 
unequal share of the spoils, were themselves murdered, and their reck- 
less associates joined the savages. Joutel, who commanded the expe- 
dition, the brother of La Salle, with the surviving nephew and four others, 
procured a guide and sought the Arkansas. By wading through marshes 
and fording small streams, and crossing rivers in boats made of buffalo 
hides, they at length reached a beautiful country above the Red River; 
and afterward, with the exception of one only, who was drowned while 
bathing in a river, and was found afterward by his companions in the 
wilderness, they all reached the Mississippi in safety, on the 24th of July, 
1687. Among the first objects which met their view on arriving thither, 
was a large cross, erected on an island. Never did weary wanderers 
hail this emblem cf man's redemption with greater joy. Near it stood a 
cabin tenanted by Frenchmen. Tonti, the commandant at Illinois, the 
faithful companion of La Salle, had descended the river in search of his- 
friend, and not finding him, had erected a cross on the river bank, and a 
house of logs after the French fashion, and appointed six men for its 
guard. Four of them had returned to Illinois, and two of them, Contieri 
and De Lancry, remained, and received Joutel and his companions, as 
before related. Though several hundred miles from the nearest foot- 
prints of civilization, they seemed " already on the threshold of home." 
On the 14th of September, they reached the head-quarters of. Chevalier 
de Tonti in Illinois, passed ' afterward through Chicago to Quebec, and 
from thence to France. Of Tonti, little is subsequently known, except 
what is contained in the annexed petition. 

Of the Chevalier de Tonty to the Count de Pontchartrain, Minister of Marink. 
monseigneur : 

Hehrv de Tonty humbly represents to your highness, that he entered the military service as a cadet, 
and was employed in that capacity in the years 1668 and 1669; and that he afterward served as a mid- 
shipman four years, at Marseilles and Toulon, and made seven campaigns, that is, four on board ships oT 
war, and three in the galleys. While at Messina, he was made a captain, and, in the interval, lieutenant 
of the first company of a regiment of horse. When the enemy attacked the post of Libisso, his right hand 
was shot away by a grenade, and he was taken prisoner, and conducted to Metasse, where he was detained 
six months, and then exchanged for the sons of the governor of that place. He then went to France, to 
obtain some favor from his majesty, and the king granted him three hundred livres. He returned to the 
service in Sicily, made the campaign as a volunteer in the galleys, and, when the troops were discharged, 
being unable to obtain the employment he solicited at court, on account of the general peace, he decided, 
in 1678, to join tlie late Monsieur de la Salle, in order to accompany him in the discoveries of MexicOi 
during which, until 1682, he was the only officer who did not abandon him. 

These discoveries being finished, he remained, in 1683, commandant of Fort St. Louis of the Illinois ' 
and, in 1684, he was there attacked by two hundred Iroquois, whom he repulsed, with great loss on their 
side. During the same year, he repaired to duebec, under the orders of M. de la Barre. In 1685, he re- 
tamed to the Illinois, according to the orders which he received from the court, and from M. de la Salle, 
as a captain of foot in a marine detachment, and governor of Fort St. Louis. In 1686, he went, with 
forty men in canoes, at hi£ own expense, as far as the Gulf of Mexico, to seek for M. de la Salle. 


Not being able to find him there, he returned to Montreal, and put himself under the orders of Monsieur 
Denon\ilIe, to engage in the war with the Iroquois. At the head of a band of Indians, in 1687, he pro- 
ceeded two hundred leagues by land, and as far in canoes, and joined the army, when, with these Indians, 
and a company of Canadians, he forced the ambuscade of the Tsonnonthouans. 

The campaign being over, he returned to the Illinois, whence he departed, in 1689, to go in search of 
the remains of M. de la Salle's colony ; but, being deserted by his men, and unable to execute his design, 
he was compelled to relinquish it, when he had arrived within seven days' march of the Spaniards. Ten 
months were spent in going and returning. As he now finds himself without employment, he prays that, 
in consideration of his voyages and heavy expenses, and considering also, that, during his service of seven 
years as captain, he has not received any pay, your highness will be pleased to obtain for iiim, from his 
majesty, a company, with which he may continue his services in this country, where he has not ceased to 
harass the Iroquois, by enlisting the Illinois against them in his majesty's cause. 

And he will continue his prayers for the health of your highness. 

Henry de Tonty. 

Nothing can be more true than tlie account given by the Sieur de Tonty in this petition ; and should 
his majesty reinstate the seven companies, which have been disbanded in this country, there will be jus- 
tice in granting one of them to him, or some other recompense for the services which he has rendered, and 
which he is now returnmg to render, at Fort St. Louis of the Illinois. 


* This paper is translated from the original, deposited in the archives of the Marine Department at Paris. 
It is without date, but was probably written at Quebec, in the year 1690. Frontenac was at that time 
Governor-General of Canada. 


We should do great injustice to the naval architects of this famous " ship," were we 
to omit stating the fact, that its ornamental parts, although built in mid-winter, (its keel 
having been laid on the 20th of January, 1679, in the wilderness, the snow being about a 
foot deep,) were not forgotten. " A griffin with expanded wings, surmounted by au eagle, 
sat on the prow." Five small guns, two of brass, and three arquebusses, constituted its 
strength. It must also be recollected that it was built at the sole expense of La Salle, 
who was at the time oppressed by debt ; that the jealotisy of the savages had also been 
excited by La Salle's enemies ; and that the former hovered arotmd " the navy yard," and 
sometimes entered " the encampment " with " less ceremony than beseemed well-dispo- 
sed visitors." A man of less ardent temperament, or less resolute spirit than La Salle, 
with such clouds of misfortune overhangmg his prosperity, would have despaired. It was, 
however, a maxim with him never to despond, under any circumstances whatever. This 
sustained him often when other means failed. 


Hennepin informs us that the tempest filled the boldest mariners with dismay — that 
even the resolute soul of La Salle quailed before the horrors thftt surrounded him. That, 
joining with others in fervent prayer to St. Anthony of Padua, he made a vow, that if he 
should be delivered from the danger with which he was then threatened, the first chapel 
erected in his newly discovered country should be dedicated to that great saint. The 
pilot was the only person on board whose devotions were not quickened by the appalling 
scene. He poured forth a torrent of complaints against La Salle ; charged him with being 
the author of all his calamities ; and bewailed his unhappy lot, for having exposed him- 
self, after the glory he had gained in braving the . storms and tempests of the ocean in 
every clime, " to perish in a fresh- water lake." 

Previous to the storm, of which we have been speaking, they had crossed a small lake, 
to which La Salle gave the name of St. Claire, in honor of the saint whose name appears 
in the calendar for the day in which he entered it. - . 


La Salle's voyage from Green Bay to the mouth of the St. Joseph's river, in Michi- 
gan, was full of peril. His company consisted of fourteen persons. They left Green 


Bay in four bark canoes, on the 19th of December, 1679, laden with a blacksmith's forge, 
carpenters' tools, utensils of various kinds, merchandise and arms. A small quantity 
of pro^dsions only was laid in, expecting a supply from the Indians, on their way, and by 
hunting on the route. Soon after their departure they were overtaken by a storm. Dark- 
ness thickened around them. The waves and the water dashed into their canoes. They 
continued, however, to keep together, and in the morning found a landing-place on a bar- 
ren spot, where they were detained four days, till the lake became calm. Here a porcu- 
pine only rewarded their toil, and as Father Hennepin observes, " afforded a savory relish 
to their pumpkins and com." Trusting themselves once more to the waters of Lake Mich- 
igan, they were soon overtaken by fresh disasters, and sought refuge for two days on a na- 
ked rock, with no other shelter tlian their blankets. They then embarked a third time, 
and were exposed on attempting to land, to such danger, that La Salle leaped into the 
water, and with his men dragged his canoes ashore. Tliis was near Milwaukie. Their 
provisions were now exhausted. Indians, however, had been seen, and their habitations 
therefore presumed to be near. Three men were thereupon sent, with the calumet, in 
search of corn. They found a deserted village, and corn in abundance ; took what they 
wanted, and left articles which the Indians valued in payment. The Indians, however, 
soon gathered around them ; but the calmnet being presented, the former evinced their 
friendship, and entertained their visitors with dances and songs. Satisfied with the goods 
which had been left the day before, they brought in other corn, and some venison, which 
was also exchanged to the mutual satisfaction of all parties. This was about the only 
sunbeam that illumined their weary voyage. Launching forth again to combat with the 
elements, and dragging their canoes, sometimes upon the rocks to escape their fury, and 
sometimes pulhng them ashore through the surf, with the spray beating over their heads, 
they finally, by incessant toil, reached the southern extremity of the lake, from whence 
they turned their course to the east, and on the first of November, 1679, they were all 
moored at the mouth of the river St. Joseph (then the Miami) in safety. 


Several writers have taken it for granted, that Father Hennepin descended the Missis- 
sippi, and was the first who traced that river to its mouth. It seems, however, that Mar- 
guette and Joliet entered the Mississippi several years before, (1673,) and that Frederic 
de Soto discovered it previous to any Frenchman's setting foot on our soil. Hennepin, 
in consequence of some diflSculty in France, repaired to England, and afterward in 1698, 
published a second edition of his travels, which he dedicated to the king, (William of 
Orange.) In this, he claims the credit of having traced the Mississippi from its head 
waters to its mouth. He pretends also that La Salle, however, had been dead at that 
time for more than eleven years ; and it is asserted on good authority, that some of his 
papers fell into the hands of Hennepin. They were, however, mere notes or hints to aid 
his memory, and were intended solely for his use ; and were prevented, in all probability, 
from seeing the light in a more authentic shape, by his untimely death. Pre\ious also to 
this. La Salle and Tonti had descended the Mississippi ; and information derived from the 
latter and his party, may have enabled Hennepin to impose on the world a volume of 
surreptitious discoveries. Peter Ralen, the naturalist, a Swede of great respectability, 
in speaking of Hennepin, says : " He;' (Hennepin.) " has gained little credit in Canada — 
the name of honor they give him there is, the great liar. He writes of what he saw in 
places wJiere he never was." It would seem, therefore, that Hennepin is entitled to but 
little credit on the score of veracity ; and that his pretensions of having discovered the 
mouth of the Mississippi, are founded on fraud and imposture. 


Go making the mouth of the Mississippi, La Salle caused his notary, Le Metairie 
to give a Proces Verbal, to commemorate the event. This curious and important docu- 


ment was never published till translated from the archives of the Marine Department, at 
Paris, and given to the public in Spark's Biography of La Salle, published at Boston, 
1844. We insert the document entire : 


Of the taking Possession of Louisiana, at the Modth of the Mississippi, by the SiEoa 
DE LA Salle, on the 9th of April, 1682. 

Jaques de la Metairie, Notary of Fort Frontenac in New-France, commissioned to exercise the said 
function of Notary, during the voyage to Louisiana, in North America, by M. de la Salle, Governor of 
Fort Frontenac for the King, and commandant of the said Discovery, by the commission of his Majesty, 
given at St. Germain, on the 12th of May, 1C78. 

To all to whom these presents shall come, greeting; — Know, that, having been requested by the said 
Sieur de la Salle to deliver to him an act, signed by us and the witnesses therein named, of possession by 
him taken of the country of Louisiana, near the three mouths of the River Colbert, in the Gulf of 
Mexico, on the 9th of April, 1682. 

In the name of the most high, mighty, invincible, and victorious Prince, Louis the Great, by the Grace 
of God, King of France and of Navarre, Fourteenth of that name, and of his heirs, and the successor of 
his crown, we, the aforesaid Notary, have delivered the said act to the said Sieur de la Salle, the tenor 
whereof follows : 

On the 27th of December, 1681, M. de la Salle departed on foot to join M. de Tonty, who had preceded 
him with his followers, and all his equipage, forty leagues into the Miamis country, where the ice on the 
River Chekagou, in the country of the Mascoutens, had arrested his progress, and where, when the ice 
became stronger, thev used sledges to drag the baggage, the canoes, and a wounded Frenchman, through 
the whole length of this river, and on the Illinois, a distance of seventy leagues. 

At length, all the French being together, on the 25th of January, 1682, we came to Pimiteoui. From 
that place, the river being frozen only in some parts, we continued our route to the River Colbert, sixty 
leagues, or thereabouts, from Pimiteoui, and ninety leagues, or thereabouts, from the village of the Illinois. 
We reached the banks of the River Colbert on the 6th of January, and remained there until the 13th, 
waiting for the savages, whose progress had been impeded by the ice. On the 13th, all having assembled, 
we renewed our voyage, being twenty-two French, carrying arms, accompanied by the Reverend Father 
Zenobe Membre, one of the Recollect Missionaries, and followed by eighteen New-England savages, and 
several women, Ilgonquines, Otchipoises, and Huronnes. 

On the 14th, we arrived at the village of Maroa, consisting of a hundred cabins, without inhabitants. 
Proceeding about a hundred leagues down the River Colbert, we went ashore to hunt on the 26th of Feb- 
ruary. A Frenchman was lost in the woods ; and it was reported to M. de la Salle, that a large number 
of savages had been seen iu the vicinity. Thinking that they might have seized the Frencliman, and in 
order to observe the savages, he marched through the woods during two days, but without finding them, 
because they had been frightened by the guns which they had heard, and had fled. 

Returning to the camp, he sent in every direction French and savages on the search, with orders, if they 
fell in with savages, to take them alive without injury, that he might gain from them intelligence of this 
Frenchman. Gabriel Barbie, with two savages, having met five of the Chikacha nation, captured two of 
them. They were received with all possible kiftdness, and, after he had explained to them that he was 
anxious about a Frenchman, who had been lost ; and that he only detained them that he might rescue 
him from their hands, if he was really among them, and afterward make with them an advantageous 
peace, (the French doing good to everybody,) they assured him that they had not seen the man whom we 
sought, but that peace would be received with the greatest satisfaction. Presents were then given to them, 
and, as they signified that one of their villages was not more than half a day'." journey distant, M. de la 
Salle set out on the next day to go thither ; but, after travelling till night, and having remarked that they 
often contradicted themselves in their discourse, he declined going farther, without more provisions. 
Having pressed them to tell the truth, they confessed it was yet four days' journey to their villages ; and, 
perceiving that M. de la Salle was angry at having been deceived, they proposed that one of them should 
remain with him, while the other carried the news to the village, whence the elders would come and join 
them four days' journey below that place. The said Sieur de la Salle returned to the camp with one of 
these Chikachas ; and the Frenchman, whom we sought, having been found, he continued his voyage, and 
passed the river of the Chepontias, and the vUlage of Metsigameas. The fog, which was very thick, pre- 
vented his finding the passage which led to the rendezvous proposed by the Chikachas. 

On the 12th of March, we arrived at the Kapaha village of Akansa. Having established a peace there, 
and taken possession, we passed, on the loth, another of their villages, situate on the border of their river, 
and also two others, farther off in the depth of the forest, and arrived at that of Imaha, the largest village 
in this nation, where peace was confirmed, and where the chief acknowledged that the village belonged to 
his Majesty. Two Akansas embarked with M. de la Salle to conduct him to the Talusas, their allies, about 
fifty leagues distant, who inhabit eight villages upon the borders of a little lake. On the 19th, we passed 
the villages of Tourika, Jason, and Kouera ; but, as they did not border on the river, and were hostile to 
the Akansas and Taensas, we did not stop there. 

On the 20th, we arrived at the Taensas, by whom we were exceedingly well received, and supplied with 
a. large quantity of provisions. M. de Tonty passed the night at one of their villages, where there were 
about seven hundred men carrying arms, assembled in the place Here again a peace was concluded. A 


peace was also made with the Koroas, whose chief came there from the principal village of the Koroas, 
two leagues distant from that of the Natches. The two chiefs accompanied M. de la Salle to the banks 
of the river. Here the Koroa chief embarked with him, to conduct him to the village, where peace was 
again concluded with this nation, which, besides the other villages of which it is composed, is allied to 
nearly forty others. On the 31st, we passed the village of tlie Oumas without knowing it, on account of 
the fog, and its distance from the river. 

On the 3rd of April, at about ten o'clock in the morning, we saw among the canes thirteen or fourteen 
canoes. M. de la Salle landed, with several of his people. Footprints were seen, and also savages, a little 
lower down, who were fishing, and who fled precipitately, as soon as they discovered us. Others of our 
party then went ashore on the borders of the marsh, formed by the inundation of the river. M. de la 
Salle sent two Frenchmen, and then two savages, to reconjioitre, who reported that there was a village not 
far off but that the whole of this marsh, covered with canes, must be crossed to reach it ; that they had 
been assailed with a shower of arrows by the inhabitants of the town, who had not dared to engage with 
them in the marsh, but who had then withdrawn, although neither the French nor the savages with them 
had fired, on account of the orders they had received not to act unless in pressing danger. Presently we 
heard a drum beat in the village, and the cries and howhngs with which these barbarians are accustomed 
to make attacks. We waited three or four hours, and, as we could not encamp in this marsh, and seeing 
no one, and no longer hearing anything, we embarked. 

An hour afterward, we came to tlio village of Maheouala, lately destroyed, and containing dead bodies 
and marks of blood. Two leagues below this place we encamped. We continued our voyage till the 
6th when we discovered three channels, by which the River Colbert discharges itself into the sea. We 
landed on the bank of the most western channel, about three leagues from its mouth. On the 7th, M. de la 
Salle sent to reconnoitre the shores of the neighboring sea, and M. de Tonty likewise examined the grea t 
middle channel. They found these two outlets beautiful, large, and deep. On the 8th, we reascended the 
river a little above its confluence with the sea, to find a dry place, beyond the reach of inundations. The 
elevation of the North Pole was here about twenty-seven degrees. Here we orepared a column and a 
cross, and to the said column were affixed the arms of France, with this inscription : 



The whole party, under arms, chanted the Te Dimm, the Exaudiat, the Dom'-ne salvum fac Regcm ; 
and then, after a salute of fire-arms and cries of Vive le Roi, the column was erected by M. de la Salle, 
who, standing near it, said, with a loud voice, in French : 

" In the name of the most high, mighty, invincible, and victorious Prince, Louis the Great, by the Grace 
of God King of France and of Navarre, Fourteenth of that name, this ninth day of April, one thousand 
six hundred and eighty-two, I, in virtue of the commission of his Majesty, which I hold in my hand, and 
which may be seen by all whom it may concern, have taken, and do now take, in the name of his Majesty, 
and of his successors to the crown, possession of this country of Louisiasa, the seas, harbors, ports, bays, 
adjacent straits : and all the nations, people, provinces, cities, towns, villages, mines, minerals, fisheries, 
streams, and rivers, comprised in the extent of the said Louisiana, from the mouth of the great River St. 
Louis, on the eastern side, otherwise called Ohio, Alighin, Sipore, or Chukagona, and this with the consent 
of the Chouanons, Chikachas, and other people dwelling^ therein, with whom we have made alliance ; as 
also along the River Colbert, or Mississippi, and rivers which discharge themselves therein, from its source 
beyond the country of the Kious or Nadouessious, and this with their consent, and with the consent of the 
Motantees, Ilinois, Mesigameas, Natches, Koroas, which are the most considerable nations dwelling therein, 
with whom also we have made alliance either by ourselves, or by others in our behalf;* as far as its 
mouth at the sea, or Gulf of Mexico, about the twenty-seventh degree of the elevation of the North Pole, 
and also to the mouth of the River of Palms ; upon the assurance, which we have received from all these 
nations, that we are the first Europeans who have descended or ascended the said River Colbert ; hereby 
protesting against all those, who may in future undertake to invade any or all of these countries, people, 
or lands, above described, to the prejudice of the right of his Majesty, acquired by the consent of the 
nations herein named. Of which, and of all that can be needed, I hereby take to witness those that hear 
me, and demand an act of the Notary, as required by law." 

To which the whole assembly responded with sliouts of Vive le Roi, and with salutes of fire-arms. 
Moreover, the said Sieur de la Salle caused to be buried at the foot of the tree, to which the cross was 
attached, a leaden plate, on one side of which were engraved the arms of France, and the following Latin 


* There is an obscurity in this enumeration of places and Indian nations, which may be ascribed to an 
ignorance of the geography of the country ; but it seems to be the design of the Sieur de la Salle to take 
possession of the whole territory watered by the Mississippi, from its mouth to its source, and by the streams 
flowing into it on both sides. 


After which, the Sieur de la Salle said, that his Majesty, as eldest son of the Church, would annex no 
country to his crown, without making it his chief care to establish the Christian religion therein, and that 
its symbol must now be planted ; which was accordingly done at once by erecting a cross before which 
the Vexilla and the Domine salvum fac Megem wete sung. Whereupon the ceremony was concluded 
with cries of Vive le Roi. 

Of all and every of the above, the said Sieur de la Salle having required of us an instrument we have 
delivered to him the same, signed by us, and by the undersigned witnesses, this ninth day of April one 
thousand six hundred and eighty-two. 

La Metairie, JVotary. 

De la Sallb. Piere You. 

P. Zenobe, Recollect, Missionary. Gilles Meucret. 

Henry De Tonty. Jean Michel, Surgeon. 

Francois de Boisrondet. Jean Mas. 

Jean Bourdon. Jean Dulignon. 

Sieur d'Autray. Nicolas de la Salle. 

Jaques Cauchois. 


La Salle's death is related by Joutel, in his Jouraal Historique, as follows : 

" They all repaired to the place where the wretched corpse lay, which they barbarously 
stripped to the shirt, and vented their malice in vile and opprobrious language. The 
surgeon, Leotot, said several times, in scorn and derision : ' There thou liest, great Bassa, 
there thou liest." In conclusion, they dragged it naked among the bushes, and left it ex- 
posed to the ravenous wild beasts. So far was it from what a certain author writes of his 
having buried him, and set up a cross on his grave." 

" Hennepin says : " He ^La Salle,) was accompanied by Father Anastasi and two 
natives, who had served him as guides. After travelling for about six miles, they found 
the bloody cravat of Saget, (one of La Salle's men,) near the bank of a river, and at the 
same time, two eagles were hovering over their heads, as if attracted by food on the 
ground. La Salle fired his gun, which was heard by the conspirators on the other side of ■ 
the river. Duhaut and L'Archiveque immediately crossed over at some distance in ad- 
vance. La Salle approached, and meeting the latter, asked for Moringuet, and was 
answered vaguely , that he was along the river. At that moment, Duhaut, who was con. 
cealed in the high grass, discharged his musket, and shot him through the head. Father 
Anastasi was standing by his side, and expected to share the same fate, till the conspira- 
tors told him they had no design upon his life. 

" La Salle survived about an hour, unable to speak, but pressing the hand of the good 
father, to signify that he understood what was said to him. The same kind friend dug his 
grave and buried him, and erected a cross over his remains." 

Duhaut assumed command of the conspirators, seized the effects of La Salle and those 
who adhered to him, and took up their line of march toward the savages. 


Ehiglish Revolution in 1688 — The prototype of our own — Rise of Holland-Dutch, East 
and West India companies — Henry or Hendrick Hudson — New-York colonized by 
the Dutch — Taken by the English in 1664 — Tlie Iroquois allies of the Dutch — After- 
ward of the English — The only barrier between the EngUsh settlements and the 
French of Canada — ^^The English Indians, (the Iroquois,) and the French Indians, 
(the Hurons, Illinois, and others,) become parties in the wars of Europe — Catholic 
missions established among the Onondagas — Abandoned — War between the French 
and Iroquois — Western New- York severed from Canada by the Mohawks — Montreal 
taken by the latter — Congress at Albany — The Six Nations attend — Frontinac re- 
appointed Governor of Canada — Holds a council with the Western Indians — Sche- 
nectady and other towns, destroyed — Jesuit missionaries in Ilhnois — Allouez Rasles 
— Finet — Binnitau, his death — Marest succeeds him — M^met, afterward — Ibberville 
appointed Governor of Louisiana — Builds fort Biloxi — Colonizes Louisiana — A line 
of fortified forts between New-Orleans and Quebec completed — Sir David Kirk at. 
tacks Quebec — It surrenders for want of provisions — Is restored to France by treaty 
— Congress at Albany — Colonel Nicholson captures Port Royal and Acadia — 
Colonel Schuyler visits England — Takes Iroquois chiefs thither — They are presented 
to Queen Ann — Sir Hoveden Walker, under the auspices of Lord Bolingbroke, sails 
for Quebec — Is shipwrecked, and the expedition abandoned — Louis XIV. desires 
peace — It is granted to him, and signed at Utrecht in 1713, the peace party having 
previously triumphed in England — Canada and Louisiana confirmed to France — 
England becomes false to the principles she had avowed, " that free ships make free 
goods" — Louisiana granted to Crozat — Its extent — ^Illinois included in the grant — 
De La Motte appointed Governor of Louisiana — St. Denys sent as agent to Mexico 
— Spaniards seize upon Texas — Bienville succeeds De La Motte as governor — Cro- 
zat surrenders liis patent to the crown. 

Soon after the death of La Salle, m 1687 — when the arms and religion 
of France, (closely united,) were permanently established, to all human 
appearances, not only in Canada, but in Hudson's Bay and Newfound- 
land, in a part of Maine, a part of Vermont, and more than one half of 
New-York ; in the whole valley of the Mississippi, and in Texas, as far 
as the Rio Bravo del Norte — James the Second, of England, abdicated its 
throne, and fled to the Continent. On his arrival in France, he was re- 
ceived by his friend and ally, Louis XIV., " with the highest generosity, 
sympathy and regard," and lodged in splendor at St. Germains. 

It may, perhaps, here be asked, v/hat had the abdication of a British 
monarch, in 1688, to do with the history of Illinois ? We answer, much. 
It unburied the tomahawk. It aroused the savage warrior from his lair, 
and wrapt whole villages in flames. Its native and French population 
participated in all its vicissitudes, and even he, who was afterward its 


governor, (Ibberville,) was a volunteer in the midnight attack upon Sche- 
nectady, and there signalized himself by an act of mercy. It had, too, 
another effect — it laid the foundation of our glorious Revolution. In the 
wars between England and France that followed the event above referred 
to, the same questions were agitated between the prince and people of 
England, which severed the British empire afterward in twain. Every 
argument for and against ship money, might have been pleaded for and 
against the Stamp Act. The right of self-government in the people of 
England, was as distinctly avowed by Parliament in the act of settlement, 
transferring the crown to William of Orange, as in the American Decla- 
ration of Independence. Still, English historians speak of theirs, as a 
glorious revolution, and of ours, as a successful rebellion. There is 
also another point of resemblance. The tomahawk and the scalping- 
knife were employed by Louis XIV., " in the cause of legitimacy," pre- 
cisely as they were by George III. and his emissaries, when our ances- 
tors, in 1775, "unfurled their banners to the breeze." 

In the war between England and France, concluded by the peace of 
Ryswick, in 1697, and also in the war which commenced on the death 
of William of Orange, and was afterward concluded by the peace of 
Utrecht, in 1713, Louis of France took up arms in defence of legitimacy. 
England, on the other hand, asserted the right of self-government. In 
both contests, France was aided by all those powers unfriendly to change. 
Having encroached, however, upon every neighbor, and threatened Eu- 
rope with universal monarchy, during the long and apparently trium- 
phant and prosperous reign of Louis XIV., fear, and a sense of wrong, 
made every nation upon the Continent her enemy. William of Orange,, 
(now King of England,) before he ascended its throne, was at variance 
with Louis, and that enmity was in no respect impaired by his subsequent 
elevation. In the wars, therefore, which succeeded, he was not only the 
defender of England against the encroachments of France, but he was 
also the defender of the territorial freedom of Europe. The German em- 
pire feared the power, and trembled at the nam.e of Louis. Germany 
became, therefore, the ally of England. The Spanish Netherlands, 
lying between Germany and France, and a barrier between Holland and 
the latter, followed her example. Other nations upon the Continent, en- 
tertaining similar fears, and threatened by Louis with subjugation, em- 
barked also in the contest. An issue was thereupon joined between 
England, Germany and the Netherlands, on the one side, and France on 
the other. 

In this contest, the roving enterprise, and religious faith of the French 
colonists, secured to Louis XIV. an active support. 

The English colonies, on the other hand, sided heartily with England. . 
The revolution which had just taken place, was regarded by them as 
the pledge of American freedom ; and the exile of a tyrant, followed by 
the election of a constitutional king, in their estimation, the exhibition of 
its first fruits. 



In 1688, the whole number of French colonists in North America, was 
only eleven thousand two hundred and forty-nine ; and those were scat- 
tered along the St. Lawrence, through the whole extent of its valley, and 
from the neighborhood of Frontenac or Kingston, to Mackinaw and the 
Illinois. The English, at that time, far exceeded them in numbers, and 
were scattered along the Atlantic coasts and rivers. The savages then 
were important allies. Hence the French, and also the English, (some- 
times honorably, and sometimes otherwise,) sought their friendship. 

The forest rangers, who penetrated every grove, and the Jesuit mis- 
sionaries, who visited every Algonquin's cabin, and the homes of the 
Sioux, the Illinois, the Miamies, and the Pottawatomies, were to France 
the origin and the end of all her hopes. Denonville, Governor of Canada, 
in speaking of the year 1688, says, " Grod alone could have saved Canada 
this year. But for the missions at the west, Illinois would have been 
abandoned — the fort of Mackinaw would have been lost ; and a general 
rising among the natives, have completed the ruin of New-France." 

Previous to the time of which we have been speaking, the United Neth- 
erlands, by incessant toil, had emerged into consequence. A country of 
limited extent, stolen, as it were, from the sea, and protected from its en- 
croachments by extensive embankments, and numerous pumps driven by 
windmills, liad become, in a few years, the richest in Europe. The 
muster of her patriot emigrants was on board her ships, and the rendez- 
vous of her martyrs on the deep. They had pursued their enemies as 
the whaler his game, from sea to sea. Every house was a school for 
mariners, and the sports, even of children, were among the breakers. A 
boat was the infant's toy ; and a ship, laboring on the billows without 
oars and without a sail, stamped upon her coin. Without agriculture, 
Holland had become a granary for the Continent ; without flax, the re- 
sidence of weavers ; without sheep, the manufacturer of woollens ; and 
without forests, the ship-yard and workshop of Europe. Amsterdam, her 
chief town, had become the pride and the glory of cities ; and Antwerp, 
and Lisbon, and Cadiz, and Venice, had been despoiled to do her service.* 

In 1600, the plan of a West India company was presented to the States 
Greneral, and referred to a committee, of which the celebrated Grotius 
was a member. The United Provinces, it was said, had mariners and 
capital to spare, and America was unable to exhaust their enterprise ; 
the sea itself was their home, and the storm and the tempest but play- 
things. On the other hand, it was urged by those who desired peace 
with Spain, (and of this number was Grotius,) that wars, at all events, 
were uncertain ; and that the sea itself was treacherous. This last opin- 
ion predominating, the charter, of course, was refused. 

The Dutch, however, soon found their way to the Continent, through 
another and a different channel. 

Some English merchants, excited by the enormous profits of voyages 

» Bancroft. 


to the East, as early as 1606, equipped and sent a vessel in search of a 
passage thither. Its command was intrusted to a Dutchman, by the 
name of Henry or Hendrick Hudson. 

Hudson, in their employment, made two unsuccessful voyages. He 
afterward went to Amsterdam, and tendered his services to the Dutch 
East India company. They were immediately accepted, and a vessel 
called the Crescent at once awaited his commands. On the 4th of April, 
1609, he embarked in pursuit of a northwest passage as before. His 
voyage, however, was interrupted by fields of ice, extending from Conti- 
nent to Continent. He therefore turned his course to the south, and 
sailed along the American coast as far as Virginia. Then turning to the 
north, the Crescent on the 3rd of September, 1609, anchored within Sandy 
Hook. He afterward sailed through the Narrows, ascended the river 
which bears his name as far as Hudson — sent a boat to the north of 
Albany, and was there welcomed by the Mohawks. 

He afterward descended the river, and on the 4th of October sailed for 
Europe. The adventures of this extraordinary seaman, deserving as they 
do perpetuation for ever, our readers, we have no doubt, will pardon a 
short digression, in order to recite his fate. On the 17th of April, 1610, 
he embarked in a like perilous expedition, got encompassed among ice- 
bergs, and being short of provisions, his crew mutinied. After dividing 
his last bread among his men, and weeping as he gave it them, he was 
seized by the mutineers, and with his only son and seven others, a part 
of whom were sick, thrust forcibly into a boat and left in the open sea. 
Philip Stoffe, the carpenter, seeing his commander thus exposed, sought 
and obtained permission to share his fate ; and as the shallop was cut 
loose, leaped on board and became his companion. Hudson was never 
heard of more. The wide expanse of waters known and distinguished as 
Hudson's Bay, is his tomb and his monument.* 

An agent of the Dutch East India company, having first discovered 
and ascended the Hudson, the whole country adjacent was claimed for 
the United Provinces ; and in 1610, some merchantSj residing at Am- 
sterdam, fitted out a ship to trade with the natives. The voyage being 
prosperous, was afterward repeated ; and in 1613, three or four rude 
hovels were erected on the island of Manhattan. The foundation of the 
city of New-York, containing at the present time three hundred and fifty 
thousand inhabitants, was thus laid two hundred and thirty years ago, by 
a few mariners and Indian traders, by accident. 

In the following year, a Dutch trading-house was established near 
Albany, just below the present city. Owing, however, to intestine com- 
motions at home, (a pai'ty there being opposed to colonization,) New- 
Netherlands, (now New-York,) advanced but slowly. In 1621, the 
Dutch West India company was incorporated, to which the States Gen- 
eral, intent chiefly on promoting trade, gave five hundred thousand guild- 

* Bancroft. 

10* - 


ers and subscribed a similar amount in stock. The company was to 
form and execute its own plans, and provide for its own security. It was 
authorized to conquer provinces, only however, at its own expense, the 
States General being known merely as allies or patrons. A little nation 
of merchants, thus without scruple gave away Continents. The year 
1623. properly speaking, was the commencement of colonization in New- 
York. Cottao-es began at this time to cluster around the block-house on 
Manhattan Island, and Peter Minuits, the commercial agent of the Dutch 
West India company, for six years held the office of governor. This, 
we are told, was '' the day of straw roofs, wooden chimneys, and wind- 
mills."' The Dutch West India company, having been incorporated prin- 
cipally with a view to reprisals upon Spanish commerce, it answered 
admirably the object of its creation. The merchant-warriors of Amster- 
dam conducted their naval expeditions like princes ; and the fleets of 
Spain and Portugal, for several years enriched the island of Manhattan. 
In 1646, Peter Stuyvesant, (then) from the West Indies, " a soldier of 
experience," and a " scholar of some learning" arrived, and took upon 
himself the government of the province. The country gained also by 
emio-ration, and merchants began to congregate upon the island. Gov- 
ernor Stuyvesant, it is said, was at times a '• little headstrong." If, 
however, he displayed the rashness of a soldier, his employers reproved 
him. If he changed the rate of duties arbitrarily, the merchant-princes, 
ever sensitive to commercial honor, charged him " to keep every contract 
inviolate." If he tampered with the currency, by raising the value of 
foreign coin, they rebuked him for dishonesty. If he attempted to fix the 
price of labor by arbitrary rules, he was told that it was unwise and in- 
supportable. If he interfered with the merchants, by inspecting their 
accounts, the deed was considered " as a measure without precedent in 
Christendom," and he was ordered "to treat the merchants with kind- 
ness." If his zeal for Calvinism led him to persecute those of a different 
creed, he was chid for his bigotry. If his hatred for '• the abominable 
sect called Quakers" led him to imprison them, he was told by the direct- 
ors, that freedom of conscience was a blessed thing, and had made Am- 
sterdam " the asylum of fugitives from every land." New-Amsterdam 
thus became what New-York now is, a " city of the world."* Although 
its governor was frequently wrong, he was sometimes right, and this, on 
account of its rarity, was a subject of commendation. Freedom of opinion 
in religious matters being thus established by law, multitudes allured 
thither by traffic, including the outcasts of every country and clime, 
made the island of Manhattan their permanent residence. Holland, for 
many years, had been a gathering place for the unfortunate. It became 
now a channel, through which French Protestants, who had escaped the 
massacre of St. Bartholomew's eve, and their descendants ; those who 
had listened to the voice of John Huss and Jerome of Prague, the relics 

* Bancroft. 


of the first fruits of the Reformation; wanderers from Palestine, who had 
worshipped on Zion's mount, and drank of Siloam's fountain ; the Wal- 
denses of Germany ; farmers and laborers, foreigners and exiles, men 
inured to toil and penury, were, by the aid of Providence, conducted to 
milder districts and " more genial climes."* New- Amsterdam, we are 
told by its historian, in a short time "vied almost with Boston." Its 
burgomasters, in writing home, observed : " This happily situated prov- 
ince ma)^ become the granary of our fatherland. Should our Nether- 
lands be wasted by grievous wars, it will offer our countrymen a safe 
retreat. By^ God's blessing, we shall in a few years become a mighty 
people." This prediction has since been verified, though under difFex'ent 
auspices. A difficulty soon arose between the people and the governor. 
The power of the former was unknown. In the act of incorporation they 
wei'e entirely overlooked. No concession of legislative power was given 
them. They met, however, in convention, and (feeling strong, as large 
bodies of men frequently do,) without instructions, became satisfied of 
their right to oppose the governor, especially in the levying and collecting 
of taxes. Town-meetings were thereupon prohibited, and discontents 
multiplied exceedingly. The governor had no faith in -the wavering 
multitude ;" and even doubted their capacity for self-government. He, 
therefore, replied to the arguments of the convention by an act of power. 
" We," said the governor, '• derive our authority from God, and the 
West India company, not from the pleasure of a few ignorant subjects." 
He therefore dissolved the convention, commanding its members to sepa- 
rate on pain of imprisonment. 

Intelligence of these proceedings soon reached the West India company 
in Holland ; they immediately declared that resistance was " contrary to 
the maxims of every enlightened government," and wrote to the governor 
to have '-no regard to the consent of the people." " Let them," say the 
company, "no longer indulge the visional'^) dream that taxes can be im- 
posed only with their consent." The colonists, notwithstanding, dreamed 
on, and taxes were uncollected as before. The people of New-England, 
in the meantime, claimed New-Netherlands, by virtue of a prior grant, 
and " were steadily advancing toward the Hudson." (The patents issued 
by the English sovereigns, it will be borne in mind, extended to the 
South Sea, or the Pacific Ocean.) In this dilemma, Governor Stuyvesant 
repaired to Boston. A discussion then ensued, (the Yankees, then as 
well as now, being always ready for discussion.) In the course of it, the 
Dutch negotiators asked, "Where then is New Netherlands? The 
Yankees replied : " We do not know." The question, indeed, from its 
nature, was calculated to puzzle men more acute than the latter. The 
inquiry, notwithstanding its difficulty, was soon answered, as will appear 
in the sequel. 

In New Netherlands, there was no popular freedom, and of course, no 

*Bancroft. , . . .vn-y - > • ,,, 


public spirit. In New-England, the people, in times of danger, rose as 
'One man, and defended themselves ; in New-Netherlands, they marched 
with reluctance, even to defend a neighboring village assailed by savages. 
" Let the West India company," said they, " protect them : they claim 
to be their sovei*eigns." 

Necessity at last wrung concession from the governor, and delegates, 
in the spring of 1664, met in convention. They first remonstrated against 
the acts of the governor ; in the next place they complained because the 
colony was without defence ; and, foreseeing the necessity of submission 
to the English, demanded of the governor: "If you cannot protect us, to 
whom shall we apply for aid ?" The governor proposed that every third 
man, as in Holland, should enlist. The people, however, were unwilling 
to expose their lives for the West India company, and the company re- 
fused to expend its means in their service. The island of Manhattan 
was, therefore, undefended. The governor had previously expressed his 
fears : " To ask aid," said he, " of the English villages, would be to 
invite the ' Trojan Horse,' within our walls. The inhabitants declare that 
the Dutch never had a right to this country." Previous, however, to all 
this, half of Long Island had submitted ; the settlements on the ^sopas 
then wavei-ed ; and "the Connecticut men" had purchased of the Indians 
all the sea-board as far as the North River. 

The King of England, (Charles II.) by letters patent, had granted 
New-Netherlands to his brother, the Duke of York, (afterward James II.,) 
and Richard Nichols, groom to the duke, had arrived with an English 
squadron, and without opposition, anchored in the bay. Having sum- 
moned the town, a committee of its citizens went on board, and inquired 
of him the cause of his presence. Winthrop, of Connecticut, a great 
lover of peace, who had accompanied Nichols thither, advised his personal 
ffiends, (and he had many such in New-Amsterdam,) to offer no resist- 
ance. The governor, however, was still unsatisfied. " The surrenider," 
said he, " will be reproved in the fatherland." The burgomasters, how- 
ever, called a meeting of the principal inhabitants, at the public hall ; 
and they, instead of resisting the invasion, drew up a protest against the 
governor ; and a committee of their own members repairing to the fleet, 
asked the commander when they might visit him again. " On Thurs- 
day," said he, " for to-morrow I will speak to you at Manhattan." On 
the next day, September 8, 1664, a capitulation was effected. The 
Dutch power in New-Netherlands ceased to exist ; the names of Manhat- 
tan and New- Amsterdam became at once merged in that of New- York. 
A colonial assembly was convened. Avarice paid homage to freedom : 
the persons and property of the Dutch were secured ; and the English 
and Dutch colonists, who had for many years been friends, " like kindred 
drops were mingled into one." 

The league which had existed between the Six Nations and the Dutch 
was renewed, and peace and plenty apparently reigned. 

In 1678, sixty.five years after its first settlement, the island of Man- 


hattan contained three thousand souls, and the whole colony about twenty 
thousand. A thousand pounds made a man opulent, and five hundred, 
rich. The frontiers of New- York had then no available barrier against 
encroachments from Canada, except in the reputation and valor of the 
Iroquois. They had for a long time been allies of the Dutch. " The 
Dutch," said they, " are our brethren ; with them we keep but one 
council-fire. We are united by a covenant-chain." No sooner had the 
Dutch power ceased in New- York, than the Iroquois became allies of tWfe 
English. The Iroquois at that time consisted of the Mohawks, the 
Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas. Of these, the Mohawks 
were the most numerous and powerful. Before Champlain founded Que- 
bec, the Mohawks had extended their ravages from the St. Lawrence to 
Virginia ; and a Mohawk sachem was much respected, even in Massa- 
chusetts. When the French invaded New- York from the north, the 
Dutch at the south were their friends. " We have always," said their 
warriors, "been as one flesh. If the Frenchmen come from Canada, we 
will join the Dutch nation, and live or die with them." This declaration 
was confirmed by presents of wampum. The Iroquois having received, 
in violation of every principle, fire-arms from the Dutch, renewed their 
hereditary warfare with the Hurons. The Eries on the southern shore 
of the lake which commemorates their existence, were immediately de- 
feated and almost extirpated. The Alleghanies near Pittsburgh next felt 
their vengeance j and the Miamies and the Illinois had no effectual bar- 
rier against their invasion, except an alliance with the French. The 
western tribes, taking sides generally with the latter, were in common 
parlance designated as French Indians, and the Iroquois, or Five Nations 
and their allies, as British Indians ; and thenceforward became involved 
in the wars and struggles of Europe. 

Previous to the surrender of New- Amsterdam, and as early as 1655, 
a Jesuit mission was established at Onondaga, and the savages in that 
vicinity became more or less susceptible of religious impressions. " A 
chapel sprang into existence, and by the zeal of the natives was finished 
in a day;" and the services of the Romish church were for some time 
chanted as securelj'- as in any part of Christendom. The savage nature 
was, however, unchanged. When, therefore, a war of extermination 
against the Eries was waged, the hunting-grounds of the Onondagas be- 
came a scene of carnage, and men, women, and children were burnt at 
the stake, as before. " Our lives," said one of the missionaries, "are not 
safe." Border collisions thereafter ensued. Some Oneidas having mur- 
dered three Frenchmen, the French retaliated by seizing three Iroquois. 
A conspiracy having at length been formed against the missionaries, and 
the latter, having solicited reinforcements from Canada in vain, they 
abandoned their chapel, their cabins, their hearths, and the valley of the 
Oswego ; and the French and the Five Nations were again at war.* A 

* Bancroft. 


few of the western tribes wavered occasionally in their faith ; but the 
surrender of New-Netherlands made them finally the dependents of the 
English. In 1684, the offending tribes (the Onondagas, Cayugas, and 
Senecas,) met the Governors of New- York and Virginia, at Albany, and, 
in the language of a once celebrated chief, " planted a tree whose top 
should touch the sun, and whose branches should be seen afar." They 
also buried the tomahawk, and chanted the song of peace. Although 
•England and France for many years thereafter, sought their friendship 
with various success, when the grand division of parties throughout Eu- 
rope was effected, the Bourbons found in the Iroquois implacable op- 
ponents ; and in the struggle that afterward ensued between England and 
^France, they became the allies of the former, and their hunting-grounds 
were transformed into battle-fields. Western New-York, it would seem, 
then, was severed from Canada by the valor of the Mohawks. 

When France, in 1689, declared war against England, Count Fronte- 
nac (reappointed to the government of Canada,) was charged, among 
other things, to make a descent on New- York, to assist the French fleet 
in its conquest. So confident, indeed, was Louis XIV. of success, that 
De Calliers was in advance appointed its governor. Frontenac embarked 
with that view, but on reaching the St. L'. r:;;ee, heard that Montreal 
had been taken and burnt by the Indians. 

On the 26th of August in that year, fifteen hundred Iroquois warriors 
reached the island of Montreal at break of day, and finding the whole 
.population of La Chine asleep, set fire to their houses, and commenced a 
general massacre. More than two hundred persons, in less than forty 
minutes, met their death in ways and forms too horrible for description. 
Marching immediately from thence to the town itself, they made two hun- 
dred prisoners, and after a severe skirmish, in which many were slain, 
became masters of the fort and town, and remained in possession of both 
till the October following. Denonville, who commanded, in a moment of 
consternation, ordered Fort Frontenac to be evacuated and razed ; and in 
less than one month, scarcely a French town or fort between Three 
Rivers and Mackinaw remained. 

In September of that year, commissioners from New-England held a 
conference at Albany with the Mohawks. A Mohawk chief there rose, 
and among other things, said : " We have burned Montreal, we are allies 
of the English, Ave will keep the chain unbroken." 

Frontenac, in the meantime, (himself a host,) had reached Quebec. A 
new scene was immediately opened. French diplomacy, in a moment, 
pervaded the whole west. An alliance with all the tribes between Lake 
Ontario and the Mississippi followed, of course. Jesuit missionaries, 
Indian traders from the plains of the Sioux ; Tonti, the French comman- 
dant at Rock Fort, on the Illinois ; Durantaye, the commander of Macki- 
naw ; Ottaways, and Chippeways. Hurons, Miamies, and Pottawatomies, 
were present, and all in their order were called upon to unbury the 
hatchet — why, and wherefore, it would perhaps be difficult here to tell. A 


war, however, between England and France was then raging. A British 
Parliament had elected a sovereign who was not of the royal line — that 
sovereign was at enmity with Louis XIV., at whose court James the 
Second then resided, and the Indians of the Far West, through the influ- 
ence of Jesuit missionaries, had become his allies. 

In October, 1689, the Iroquois abandoned Montreal, and its possession 
was resumed by the French. Frontenac, having used every effort in his 
power to win the Five Nations to his friendship, and failed in the attempt ; 
supposed and believed, as he naturally would, that to gain their esteem, 
and to enable Durantaye, the commander of Mackinaw, to treat success- 
fully with the Hurons, the Ottaways, and other savage tribes, much was 
required, resolved immediately to make several vigorous descents into the 
English settlements. Previous, however, to his doing so, he summoned a 
grand council of Indian warriors at Montreal, and accompanied by vete- 
ran officers from Europe, repaired thither in person. There, as a repre- 
sentative of the Gallic monarch, claiming to be the bulwark of Chris- 
tendom — Count Frontenac, himself a peer of France, now in his seventieth 
year, placed the murderous hatchet in the hands of his allies ; and with 
the tomahawk in his own grasp, chanted the war-song, danced the war- 
dance, and listened, apparently with delight, to threats of savage vengeance. 
Immediately thereafter, a party of one hundred and ten French and 
Indians, with De Montet and Saint Helena, as their leaders, and De Ibber- 
ville, the hero of Hudson's Bay, afterward governor of Louisiana, (inclu- 
ding Illinois,) as a volunteer, left Montreal on a marauding expedition ; 
and wading through snows and morasses, through forests, deemed before 
impervious to white men, and across rivers bridged with frost ; arrived on 
the 18th of February, 1690, twenty-two days after leaving Montreal, in 
sight of Schenectady, (then a small village,) upon the Mohawk river. 
Its inhabitants, unconscious of danger, were wrapt in sleep. Even its 
gates were left open and unguarded. About midnight the invaders en- 
tered, and the war-whoop was at once raised in their very midst. Their 
buildings were set on fire, and a general massacre commenced. Some 
fled naked through the snow to Albany — some fell victims to the scalp- 
ing-knife and tomahawk : sixty were immediately killed, of whom seven- 
teen were children. The darkness of the night, the blaze of their dwell- 
ings, the ghastly looks of the dead, the groans of the dying, the shrieks of 
women and children, and the midnight yells of the exasperated savages, 
urged on to deeds of carnage by French auxiliaries, presented a scene of 
horror which sets description at defiance. 

A party from Three Rivers, consisting of fifty-two persons only, com- 
manded by Hertel, three of whom were his sons and two his nephews, on 
the 27th of March, 1690, fell upon an English settlement on the Piscata- 
qua, and after a bloody engagement, burnt houses, barns, and cattle in 
their stalls, and captured fifty-four persons, chiefly women and children. 
The prisoners, laden with spoils rifled from their once peaceful dwellings, 
were compelled by their savage victors to carry burdens, in retreating, 


beyond their strength. One of their number rejecting his, was bound to 
a tree, and dried leaves being laid around and set on fire, perished by- 
slow and lingering torments. A young and delicate girl of fifteen, burst- 
ing into tears, from excessive fatigue, was tomahawked and scalped. A 
mother, lingering behind to still her babe, lest its cries should disturb her 
savage master, was torn by violence from her infant, its brains dashed out 
against a tree, and its body hung on the branches. The child of another 
was thrown into the river, in order that its mother, eased of her burden, 
might travel more speedily. Another attack was made at the same time, 
with like success, upon a settlement in Maine. Such barbarous deeds, 
however, were sometimes, and not very unfrequently, avenged. The 
English colonists retaliated, and the forests resounded with the cries of 
women and children. (See note.) 

Louis XIV. had now become old, and his ambition, in some mea- 
sure, had ceased. Those brave and talented men, who for many years 
had directed his councils and commanded his armies, were no more. 
" The great Colbert," who had once reduced his finances to order, was 
dead. Luxembourgh, " the victor of a hundred battle-fields," had gone to 
render up his final accounts ; and the wise Catinat was no longer a fa- 
vorite. The numerous and extensive wars which he had waged, '•' merely 
for glory," enfeebled France, and exhausted her resources. The mon- 
arch, who thought he commanded victory, and expected genius to start up 
at his bidding, by an excess of royal vanity, had more than once degra- 
ded his councils, and disgraced his arms. And if the measure of his 
shame was at any time unfilled, Eugene and Marlborough supplied the 

The settlements in Illinois, during this period, advanced slowly. Al- 
louez succeeded Marquette in a mission to the Miamies, and died among 
them. Gravier succeeded Allouez at the Jesuit mission, in Kaskaskia, 
or " the village of the immaculate conception of the Holy Virgin." 
Sebastian Rasles, after passing a winter at Mackinaw, came to Illinois in 
1693, where he remained two years, and during that period was a fellow- 
laborer with Gravier. The latter ascertained the principles of the Illi- 
nois language, and reduced them to rules. He also, in the midst of perils, 
and in opposition to sorcerers, began the first establishment in Kaskas- 
kia destined to endure. When Gravier was recalled, two missionaries, 
Pinet and Binnitau, came hither. Pinet founded Cahokia, and preached 
with great success to the natives of that vicinity. His chapel could ac- 
commodate but a part only of the multitudes that thronged around him. 
Binnitau, following the tribe to which he was attached, in a July ramble, 
to their hunting-grounds, on the upland plains of the Mississippi, and be- 
ing seized with a mortal fever, left his bones to whiten on the prairie. 
After the death of Pinet and Binnitau, Gabriel Marest joined the mission, 
and for some time had the whole under his charge. " Our life," said Ma- 
rest, " is passed in rambling through thick woods, in climbing over 
hills, in paddling the canoe across lakes and rivers, to catch a poor sav- 


age who flies from us, and whom we can neither tame by teachings nor 

The Peorias, requesting the establishment of a mission among them, 
Marest, on Good Friday, in 1711, left Kaskaskia for that purpose, and on 
the second day thereafter reached Cahokia. An account of his journey 
we subjoin. "I departed," says he, " having nothing about me but my 
crucifix and breviary, being accompanied by only three savages, who 
might abandon me from levity, or for fear of enemies might fly. The 
horror of these vast, uninhabited forest- regions, where, in twelve days 
not a soul was met, took away my courage. Here was a journey where 
there was no village, no bridge, no ferry, no boat, no house, no beaten 
path ; and over boundless prairies, intersected by rivulets and rivers, 
through forests and thickets, filled with briers and thorns, through marsh- 
es, where we plunged sometimes to the girdle. At night repose was 
sought on the grass, or on leaves exposed to wind and rain — happy, if by 
the side of some rivulet of which a draught might quench thirst, a meal 
was prepared from such game as was killed on the way, or by roasting 
ears of corn." 

Early in the eighteenth century, Marest was joined at Kaskaskia by 
Marmet. The fervid eloquence of the latter, says Marest, made him the 
soul of the mission. His pupils, at early dawn, attended church neatly 
and modestly dressed in a large deer-skin, or in a robe made of several. 
After receiving lessons, they chanted canticles. Mass was then said in 
presence of the French and the converts ; the women on one side, and 
the men on the other. From prayer and instructions the missionaries 
proceeded to visit the sick, and administer medicine, and their skill, as 
physicians, did more than anything else to win confidence. In the af- 
ternoon the catechism was taught in presence of the young and old, where 
every one, without distinction of rank or age, answered the questions 
of the missionary. In the evening, all assembled at the chapel for in- 
struction, for prayer, and to chant the hymns of the church. On Sun- 
days and festivals, and after vespers, a homily was pronounced. At the 
close of the day, parties met in each other's cabins to recite the chapletin 
alternate choirs, and sing psalms in the night. Their psalms were often 
homilies, with the words set to familiar tunes. Saturday and Sunday 
"were the days appointed for confession and communion ; and every con- 
vert confessed once in a fortnight. The success of the mission was 
such, that marriages of the French emigrants were solemnized with the 
daughters of the Illinois, according to the rites of the Catholic church. 
The occupation of the territory by the French, it will therefore be seen, 
was, in fact, nothing more or less than a cantonment of Europeans among 
the native proprietors of the forests and prairies. 

The military occupations of Illinois seem to have been continued with- 
out interruption. After La Salle's return from Canada, Joutel, in 1687, 
found a garrison at Fort St. Louis. La Houtan speaks of it in 1689, and 
in 1696 a public document proves its existence, and the wish of Louis 


XIV. to preserve it in good condition. When Tonti descended the Mis- 
sissippi, in 1700, twenty Canadian residents in Illinois, it appears, accom- 
panied him thither. 

In 1699, Lemoine de Ibberville was appointed governor of Louisiana, 
and arrived with a French colony at the mouth of the Mississippi, hovered 
for some time on its coasts, in search of the settlement made by La Salle, 
and not finding it as he anticipated, landed, and built a fort at old Biloxi, 
twelve miles west of Pensacola river, or bay. We need not, perhaps, 
here remark, that the State of Illinois, from that time forward, was inclu- 
ded in, and became a part of Louisiana. 

Ibberville, like his predecessors Champlain and La Salle, was fit for 
any, and almost every undertaking. The most skillful naval ofiicer in 
the service of France ; as calm amid the crash of icebergs in Hudson's 
Bay, as in a vernal shower ; the capturer of Pemaquid ; the successful 
invader of Newfoundland ; the victor in several naval engagements ; a 
volunteer in the midnight attack upon Schenectady, (before related,) 
where he signalized himself by an act of clemency — he now sought, 
and obtained a commission from his sovereign, (Louis XIV.) to establish 
a direct intercourse between France and the Mississippi. On the 27th 
of February, 1699, he entered the river in two barges, accompanied by 
his brother, Bienville, and forty-eight men, one of whom was a Francis- 
can monk, who had accompanied La Salle thither some years before. 
He ascended the Mississippi as far up as the village of the Bayagoulas, 
an Indian tribe which then dwelt on the river Ibberville. They worshipped 
an opossum as their manitou, and preserved in their temples an undying 
fire. Ibberville found there a letter from Tonti to La Salle, dated in 
1686, carefully preserved.* On his return he gave names to Lake Mau- 
repas and Pontchartrain, which they have since retained. 

Having erected a fort with four bastions, and mounted twelve cannon, 
at the head of the bay of Biloxi, upon a sandy shore, he claimed juris- 
diction over the whole country, from the Rio del Norte to the con- 
fines of Pensacola. He afterward sailed for France, leaving his two 
brothers, Sauville and Bienville, in command. Prosperity, however, was 
impossible, and his followers, under a burning sun, sighed for the refresh- 
ing breezes of Hudson's Bay. The success of colonization, in a great 
measure, depends on the reputation, character, and resources of the first 
colonists. They impress their own seal upon all their work, which time 
only can efface. Two descriptions of colonists came out with Ibberville. 

* The letter above referred to was procured from an Indian Chief, and directed to M. 
de la Salle, Governor of Louisiana. It was as follows : 

" At the village of the ftuinipissas, 20th of April, 1685. Sir : Having found the column, on which you 
had placed the arms of France, overthrown by the driftwood floated thither by the tide, I caused a new 
one to be erected, about seven leagues from the sea, where I left a letter suspended from a tree. All the 
nations have sung the calumet. These people fear us extremely, since your attack upon their village. I 
close by saying, that it gives me great uneasiness to be obliged to return under the misfortune of not having 
found you. Two canoes have examined the coast thirty leagues toward Mexico, and twenty-five toward 


The first, were unaccustomed to manual labor ; but they possessed enter- 
prise, and expected to gather fortunes from the gold and silver mines, and 
from the Indian trade. The second, and much the most numerous, were 
poor and idle, and instead of their own industry, expected to subsist on 
the bounty of Government. That both should have been disappointed in 
their expectations is very natural, and ought not, therefore, to excite sur- 
prise. During the first thirteen years after Ibberville's expedition to the 
Mississippi, two thousand five hundred settlers had been transported 
thither ; few of them ever returned ; and yet such were their sufferings 
and hardships, brought on principally by their own improvidence, that in 
1712, Louisiana contained but four hundred whites, twenty negro slaves, 
and three hundred head of cattle. During the same period, 689,000 
livres had been expended by Grovernment, in order to promote its settle- 
ment. Depending on the public for those supplies which the lands in 
their vicinity were calculated to yield in abundance, with but little labor, 
they made no efforts of their own, except in their attempts to discover 
mines, and acquire fortunes by trading in furs. The settlements in 
Illinois were more prosperous. The climate was favorable to health, and 
the soil prolific. The inhabitants pursued agriculture, not as a primary, 
but as a secondary object. Still, however, such was its fertility, that the 
first inhabitants of Illinois never suffered for provisions, and being exempt 
from Indian wars, they Avere enabled to prosecute their trade with con- 
siderable success, and always in safety. 

A line of fortified posts now existed between the Gulf of St. Lawrence 
and the Gulf of Mexico. The English, jealous of the French, previous 
to the expedition of Ibberville, became more so thereafter, and during the 
absence of the latter, an attempt was made by the English to deface the 
letters which had been carved by the Jesuit missionaries upon the forest 
trees, at every conspicuous point, between the Gulf of Mexico and the 
castle of St. Louis, in Quebec. Hennipen, while in England was taken 
into pay by the king, (William of Orange,) and published a new edition 
of his travels ; in which, to bar the French title derived from its first dis- 
covery, he falsely pretended that he (Hennipen) had descended the 
river, previous to the expedition of La Salle. This work, dedicated to 
the king, was published at the very time the fort at Biloxi was in progress. 
Soon afterward, Bienville, who succeeded Ibberville in the command, 
while exploring the numerous channels of the Mississippi, below New- 
Orleans, met an English ship of sixteen guns, ascending the stream, com- 
manded by one Barr. Bienville, asserting the French supremacy thereto, 
the English captain giving heed to his assertion, turned back ; and the 
bend in the river where this interview occurred, was named, and is still 
called, " The English Turn." 

On board the English squadron was a French Protestant, who, having 
fled from religious persecution, had ta^en refuge in Carolina. He pre- 
sented a petition to Bienville, stating, that if the king would allow them 
the free exercise of their religion, four hundred Protestant families would 


remove thither immediately. Their petition being presented to the king, 
he observed, that " He had not expelled them from his kingdom to form a 
republic of them." 

Ibbei-ville died afterward at Havana, on the 9th of July, 1706, of a 
fever, brought on by excessive fatigue. In him, the colonists and the 
French navy lost a hero worthy of regret. His brother, Bienville, re- 
mained with a few soldiers, wretched and unhappy. After listening for 
awhile to the buzz of mosquitoes, the hissing of serpents, the croaking of 
frogs, and the cries of alligators, claiming the whole country as the in- 
heritance of reptiles, he died also ; and Louisiana, although William of 
Orange had said he would leap over twenty stumbling blocks to effect its 
reduction, remained a colony of France, as before. 

Canada, for many years, had annoyed the English colonies exceedingly. 
From them had issued those mercenary hordes, that overrun and de- 
stroyed the frontier settlements. Several attempts had already been 
made to effect its conquest, all of which had failed, for want of means, or 
judgment or discretion in their commander. 

As early as 1628, Sir David Kirk and his brothers were commissioned 
ta ascend the St. Lawrence, and reduce Quebec. Champlain was then 
its commander. Destitute of provisions and military stores, it had no 
hope but in the character of Champlain. Being summoned to surrender, 
his bold defiance intimidated the assailants, and they withdrew. Receiv- 
ing, however, no supplies from Richelieu, as promised, the garrison was 
reduced to the verge of famine ; and when Kirk afterward reappeared, 
the English were hailed as deliverers, and the famished garrison became 
suppliants for food. Before its conquest, however, peace had been pro- 
claimed between France and England, and Quebec, on the 14th of April, 
1629, was restored. 

In 1690, the first American Congress was held at Albany. The ob- 
ject v/as, to protect the colonies against invasion from Canada ; and for 
that purpose, the reduction of the latter was contemplated. The plan 
originated in the Legislature of Massachusetts, and letters from the Gene- 
ral Court were sent to all the colonies, as far south as Maryland. It was 
then resolved that an army should be sent against Montreal, by way of 
Lake Champlain ; while a fleet from Massachusetts should attack Quebec. 
The fleet from Massachusetts, consisting of thirty-four sail, commanded 
by Sir William Phipps, on the 16th of October, 1690, arrived at Quebec, 
and demanded its surrender. Two days before this, Frontenac had ar- 
rived, and when the demand was made, the herald was dismissed with 
scoffs. The garrison being more numerous than the assailants, and the 
expedition by land having failed, they withdrew. On its return it was 
scattered by storms, and several of the vessels were wrecked. 

In 1710, the project was again renewed, and a fleet and army from Eu- 
rope were to be sent thither. Massachusetts and Rhode Island were to 
send twelve hundred men to Quebec, and the middle colonies fifteen hun- 
dred to Montreal. 


Before the expedition was ready to sail, Col. Nicholson had conquered 
the whole of Acadia, including Port Royal its, capital ; or perhaps more 
properly speaking, one hundred and fifty-six famished Frenchmen, on his 
approach, marched out with the honors of war, to beg food as alms. 
Flushed with victory, he repaired immediately to England, to urge for- 
ward the expedition against Canada. At the same time, Col. Schuyler 
from Albany, accompanied by five Iroquois sachems, repaired to Eng- 
land. The Indians, dressed in English small-clothes of black, with scar- 
let cloth mantles, edged with gold, for blankets, were conducted in coaches 
in great state to the royal palace, and had an audience with the queen, 
(Ann,) and giving her belts of wampum, avowed their readiness to take 
up the hatchet, and aid in the reduction of Canada.* 

At that time, St. John, (afterward Lord Bolingbroke, the " greatest 
young man of his day,"' was secretary of state. He was " the best ora- 
tor in the House of Commons ;" and Parliament seemed, as it welJVinaoved 
at his bidding. St. John, in 1710, planned the conquest ' of Cajf^ciict ^'jjj^ 
in June, 1711, wrote, "As the whole design," said he, ^\ waf f<?v!vi#fc^ §*^ 
me, and the management of it singly earned on by me, i(^G.v<?c!L5i>y-V isV ^\, 
paternal concern for the success of it." The fleet consjc'^i^'^'ffTf+^^^v 
ships of war, and forty transports ; the whole was commK>ifi?i i^, biV 
Hoveden Walker. Seven veteran regiments from Marlboro u^)^'; s^Vv-mj 
with a battalion of marines, commanded by Mrs. Masham's brotli^^y ci\\\e<{ 
honest Jack Hill by his bottle-companions, accompanied the exp£v'A\'t'ion 
In its preparation, the public treasury, we are told, was defraude>£' --xiy 
the benefit of favorites. On the 25th of June, 1711, the fleet arriveSyH v 
Boston, where they were to take in supplies and colonial forces. A>.i 
army from Connecticut, New- York, and New-Jersey, and about six hun- * 
dred Iroquois warriors, assembled at Albany, preparatory to an attack on 

The English, through the Iroquois, had also formed an alliance with the 
Foxes of Wisconsin, who were desirous of expelling the French from 
their territory. 

News of the intended expedition soon reached Quebec, and means for 
its protection were immediately adopted. A renewal of treaties with the 
Western Indians, through the influence of Jesuit missionaries, was at 
once effected. Their influence was never so apparent before. A war 
festival was held at Montreal, and seven or eight hundred warriors at- 
tended. Delegates from the Far West, from the Hurons, one branch of 
the Sacs, the Pottawatomies, the Illinois, and the Miamies, were present. 
Xljl^ war-song was sung, and the hatchet uplifted. Some of the western 
tribes hesitating for a moment, twenty Huron chiefs took up the hatchet, 
and marching through the ranks, the rest all followed. Vaudrieul, the 
governor, descending from thence to Quebec, strengthened its fortifica- - 
tions, and the women assisted — all watched the approach of the fleet. 
September came and passed, and no enemy could be seen. 

* An amusing account of this intemew is given in one of the numbers of the Spectatoi 


The English squadron left Boston on the 30th of July, and loitering 
along the Bay of Gaspe, at length began to ascend the St. Lawrence. 
Such an armanent had never before floated on its waters. 

Sir Hoveden Walker, in the meantime, anticipating the surrender of 
Quebec as a thing of course, puzzled himself how he should secure his 
vessels during the winter. Fearing that " the ice in the river freezing to 
the bottom, would bilge them," he could think of no other way, than '< to 
secure them on the dry ground in frames and cradles, till the thaw;" 
Avhen ascending the river, which was " a hundred fathoms deep," and 
which he supposed would " freeze to the bottom," he was overtaken on 
the 22nd of August, by a thick fog and an easterly breeze. The pilot ad- 
vised that the fleet should lie to. They did so. Notwithstanding this, how- 
ever, the vessels drifted in a direction to the northern shore. Just as the 
admiral was going to bed, the captain of his ship entered his cabin, and told 
him thp'^'^ind was ahead. Without going on deck, the admiral wantonly 
di'r^x'ic<^ tM^ ships to head to the north. There was, fortunately, on the 
a'uAvtp/-' dP-^k a vnan of sense, one Goddard, a captain in the land service ; 
U&v-«^"»U£«^ /jni^diately into his cabin, and implored him, at least, to come 
0Y\ cf«^c(< -^i<i- i/he self-willed, inconsiderate commander, laughed at his 
fears CfHc( j'^Vused. Goddard, a second time returned :" For God's 
Ai<i 5'a")ct he, "come on deck, or we shall be lost; I see breakers all 
Oiv'o-ni^cl/" Putting on my gown and slippers," wrote Walker, after- 
.»V^ A Vf^ And coming upon deck, I found what he told me was true." 
VV'"' \ V^', however, at the same time said, " I see no land to the leeward." 
'\ h w'moon, however, breaking at this moment through the mist, " gave 
Kim the lie." The fleet was among the Egg Islands, close upon the 
shore. They immediately made sail for the middle of the river. When 
the morning dawned, it was discovered that eight vessels had been wrecked, 
and eight hundred and eighty-four men had been drowned. A council 
of war being summoned immediately, it was unanimously voted that they 
would not proceed. Thusi^terminated an expedition, undertaken at a 
great expense, and under flattering circumstances, by reason of the igno- 
rance or incompetency of its commander. 

Walker afterward, in speaking of this unfortunate expedition, says, 
" had we arrived safe at Quebec, ten or twelve thousand men must have 
been left to perish of cold and hunger. By the loss of a part, Providence 
saved all the rest." Just as though he had expected public honors for 
disgracing the British arms. 

France, driven from her outposts, was compelled, at last, to struggle 
for " her altars and her homes." Her aged monarch, humbled in arms> 
reduced in power, chagrined at the loss of provinces, and the declinft^crf 
his influence, was wounded also in his affections. His children and his 
grandchildren, all but one feeble infant, were swept away — he only re- 
mained. Bowing to the stroke of Providence, he desired peace upon any 

" I make a sacrifice," said he. '' of what I cherished most. I forget 


my glory." He assented to the dethronement of his grandson. The 
confederates, however, demanded more.. That he should assist in re- 
ducing the Spanish monarchy. This arrogant demand was rejected, and 
the battle of Malplaquet fought. He then agreed to surrender Alsace, 
and pay a million of livres per month toward expelling his grandson from 
the Spanish throne. The allies required him to do it himself. "If I 
must," said he, " have war, it shall not be with my children." Public 
sympathies began at last to be excited in favor of a prince, who had 
threatened the subjugation of Europe. He could no longer threaten 
England with a king, or Flolland with conquest. The peace party in 
England increased in numbers and in power — and the debility of France 
became her safety. The tories became paramount in the State. Marl- 
borough, having declared that " the enmity between England and France 
was irreconcilable," was dismissed, and humanity triumphed. The peace 
of Utretch followed in April, 1713. Louisiana and Canada were con- 
firmed to France. The hatchet was temporarily buried, and the seeds 
of war scattered again broadcast throughout the globe. 

William III., bearing the standard of freedom, was false to the liberty 
of the seas. All commerce with France was prohibited, and the protest 
of Holland received no other reply, than "it was his will." The whig 
ministry of Queen Ann were the first to vindicate it. Grotius promul- 
gated the idea ; Bolingbroke fostered it ; and at the treaty of Utrecht, Eng- 
land held that " free ships made free goods." Contraband articles were 
defined, and the right of blockade was limited. In those days, sailors re- 
quired no special protection ; their country's flag, and their God, were all 
that was necessary. How far England has been true to her principles, 
remains to be seen. 

Anterior to the peace of U-'^'echt, in 1713, the wars in Europe de- 
manded, as we have already observed, the whole attention, and called 
forth the whole resourc<3S of France. The king was, therefore, obliged 
to withhold from Louisiana the usual supplies of men and money. De- 
termined, however, at all events, to keep it out of the hands of his ene- 
mies, he granted it on the 14th of September, 1712, and in the seventieth 
year of his reign, to Anthony Crozat. Crozat was a merchant in Paris, 
of great wealth, of high respectability, and had on former occasions ren- 
dered important service to the crown. His character and talents were 
sure pledges, that the colony would prosper in his hands. Another mo- 
tive led to the concession. The provincial authorities were hostile to 
each other, and some energetic hand was requisite to heal the disorder. 
De La Motte Cadilla, the merchant proprietor and founder of Detroit, 
appointed royal governor of Louisiana under the grant, now admitted as 
a partner of Crozat, resorted thither, and took upon himself its gov- 

The grant of Crozat being an important document, including as it did 
the whole valTey of the Mississippi, the State of Illinois, and its territory 
of Wisconsin, among others, we insert it at length. 





The care we have had to procure the welfare and advantage of our subjects, having 
induced us, notwithstanding the almost -continued wars which we have been obliged to 
support from the beginning of our reign, to seek for all possible opportunity of enlarging 
and extending the trade of our American colonies ; we did, in the year sixteen hundred 
and eighty-three, give our orders to undertake a discovery of the countries and lands 
which are situated in the northern part of America, between New-France and New- 
Mexico ; and the Sieur de la Sale, to whom was committed that enterprise, having had 
success enough to confirm a belief, that a communication might be opened between New- 
France and the Gulf of Mexico, by means of large rivers ; this obliged us, immediately after 
the peace of Ryswick, to give orders for the establishing a colony there, and maintaining 
a garrison, which has kept and preserved the possession we had taken, in the very year 
1683, of the lands, coasts, and islands, which are situated in the Gulf of Mexico, between 
Carolina on the east, and Old and New-Mexico on the west. But a new war having 
broken out in Europe shortly after, there was no probability, till now, of reaping from that 
new colony, the advantages that might have been expected from thence ; because the 
private men who were concerned in the sea trade, were all under engagements with other 
colonies, which they have been obliged to follow : And, whereas, upon the information 
we have received, concerning the disposition and situation of the said countries,*known at 
present, by the name of the province of Louisiana, wo are of opinion that there may be 
established therein a considerable commerce, so much the more advantageous to our 
kingdom, in that there has hitherto been a necessity of fetching from foreigners the great- 
est part of the commodities which may be brought from thence ; and because, in exchange 
thereof, we need carry thither nothing but commodities of the growth and manufacture 
of our own kingdom ; — we have resolved to grant the commerce of the country of Louis- 
iana, to the Sieur Anthony Crozat, our councillor, secretary of the household, crown and 
revenue, to whom, we intrust the execution of this project. We are the more readily in- 
clined hereunto, because his zeal, and the singular knowledge he has acquired in maritime 
commerce, encourage us to hope for as good success as he has hitherto had in the divers 
and sundry enterprises he has gone upon, and which have procured to our kingdom great 
quantities of gold and silver, in such conjunctures os have rendered them very welcome to 
us. For these reasons, being desirous to show our favor to him, and to regulate the con- 
ditions upon which we mean to grant him the said con»Tnerce, after having deliberated 
this affair in our council, of our certain knowledge, full power, and royal authority : we, 
by these presents, signed by our hand, have appointed, and do appoint, the said Sieur 
Crozat, solely to carry on a trade in all the lands possessed by us, and bounded by New. 
Mexico, and by the lands of the English of Carolina ; all the establishments, ports, havens, 
rivers, and principally the port and haven of the Isle Dauphine, heretofore Massacre ; the 
liver of St. Louis, heretofore called Mississippi, from the edge of the sea, as far as the 
Illinois ; together with the river St. Phillip, heretofore called the Missouri, and of St. 
Jerome, heretofore called Ouabache, with all the countries, territories, lakes within land, 
and the rivers which fall directly, or indirectly, into that part of the river of St. Louis. 


I. Our pleasure is, that all the aforesaid lands, countries, streams, rivers, and islands, 
be and remain comprised, under the nEune of the goverrmient of Louisiana, which shall 
be dependent upon the general government of New-France, to which it is subordinate ; 
and further, that all the lands which we possess from the Illinois, be united, so far as occa- 
sion requires, to the general government of New-France, and become part thereof; reser- 
ving, however, to ourselves the liberty of enlarging, as we shall think fit, the extent of the 
government of the said country of Louisiana. ' 

III. We permit him to search for, open, and dig all sorts of mines, veins, and min- 


erak, throughout the whole extent of the said country of Louisiana, and to transport the 
profits thereof into any port of France, during the said fifteen years ; and we grant in 
perpetuity, to liim, his heirs, and others, claiming undfrr him or them, the property of, in, 
and to the mines, veins, and minerals, which he shall bring to bear — paying us in heu of 
all claim, the fifth part of the gold and silver, which the said Sieur Crozat shall cause to 
be transported to France, at his own expense, into what port he pleases, of whkih fifth he 
will run the risk of the sea and of war, and the tenth part of what effects he shall draw 
from the other mines, veins, and minerals ; which tenth he shall transfer and convey to 
our magazines in the said country of Louisiana. 

We likewise permit him to search for precious stones and pearls, paying us the fifth part, 
in the same manner as is mentioned for the gold and silver. 

We will that the said Sieur Crozat, his heirs, or those claiming under him or them the 
perpetual right, shall forfeit the property of the said mines, veins, and minerals, if they dis- 
continue the work during three years ; and that, in such case, the said mines, veins, and 
minerals, shall be fully reunited to our domain, by virtue of tliis present article, without 
the formality of any process of law, but only an ordinance of reunion, from the sub-dele- 
gate of the Intendant of New-France, who shall be in the said country ; nor do we mean, 
that the said penalty of forfeiture, in default of working for three years, be reputed a 
comminatory penalty. 

VII. Our edicts, ordinances, and customs, and the usages of the mayoralty and shrie- 
valty of Paris, shall be observed for laws and customs in the said country of Louisiana. 

Given at Fontainbleau, the fourteenth day of September, in the year of. grace, 1712, and 

of our reign the seventeenth. .: ;'".', ■■'■. ' \ , '■ . v.-V- - ''■ 

By the King: '■•"'■ - /■ 

Philipeaux, etc. 

The grant to Crozat, it will be observed, was a grant of its commerce 
only. It is evidence, however, of the extent of the claim of France at 
that time, in the valley of the Mississippi ; and by reference to its discov- 
ery, possession, and settlement, we shall find, that by Louisiana is to be 
understood, all that country on both sides of the Mississippi, including its 
tributary streams, as far as the 49th degree of north latitude, that having 
been fixed by the treaty of Utrecht as its boundary. The words in Cro- 
zat's grant, " as far as the Illinois," had no reference to the river of that 
name, but to the country generally, on both sides of the Mississippi above the 
mouth of the Ohio, which under the French and Spanish governments was 
denominated "the country of the Illinois." This fact appears in all their 
records and official acts. Thus, letters, deeds, and other instruments, 
bore date at Kaskaskia, of the Illinois; St. Louis, of the Illinois; not 
simply to signify the villages in which such documents were respectively 
executed, but more particularly to denote the- country in which those vil- 
lages are situated. Hence, the commerce of Crozat, by the terras of the 
patent, extended to the utmost limits of Louisiana, and by the treaty of 
Utrecht, was fixed at the 49th degree north — which is some distance above 
the Falls of St. Anthony. 

France and Spain being united under one faith, it was not unfrequent 
for the missionaries of both, atteilded by troops of their respective nations, 
as well when they were rivals as when they were belligerents, to unite in 
diffusing gospel light among the children of darkness. The conversion 
of the heathen was considered by them (we say considered,) as a sacred 



duty, and paramount to all others. Many frauds and impositions, and 
even crimes, it is said, were thus committed under the mask of religion ; 
and ambition in those days (we hope it is otherwise now,) was, it would 
seem, as incident to the mitre as to the crown. During the administration 
of De La JMotte, a Spanish friar, by the name of Udalgo, requested the 
concurrence of the governor of Louisiana in a mission to the Assinois, an 
Indian tribe in Texas. Its object was to expel the French from their 
territory, and thus extend the Spanish power. De La Motte penetrated 
at once the motives, and saw the danger with which it was pregnant. 
Inasmuch, however, as he was destitute at that time of provisions and 
necessaries for his colony, and was desirous of obtaining both from Mexico, 
and inasmuch, also, as he was desirous of avoiding a war which he had 
no means to carry on, he assented. The anticipated result followed, and 
the French, as will appear in the sequel, were afterward expelled. 

Instead of entering into a discussion with Udalgo, De La Motte conceived 
it more prudent to send an agent to Mexico, with authority to conclude a 
treaty, and to obtain a renewal of the commercial intercourse, previously 
suspended at the instigation of the English. M. De St. Denys, being 
acquainted with the affairs of the colony, and commander at Natchitoches, 
and highly respected for his courage and military talents ; and having, 
too, married a Spanish lady of rank, and being much esteemed by several 
Indian nations, who had made him their chief; was selected as such 
agent, and invested with full powers to negotiate a commercial treaty 
with Mexico. 

St. Denys, on his arrival thither, was hospitably received by the viceroy, 
who pledged himself to conclude the treaty in question; and to suffer the 
French in Louisiana to import provisions and other necessaries from the 
Spanish provinces, as soon as the mission was established among the 

St. Denys having reported to De La Motte the conditions of the agree- 
ment, was directed to carry the treaty into effect. He hastened, there- 
fore, to the fortress of St. John the Baptist, found a caravan, put himself 
at the head of it, and early in 1717, conducted the Spaniards to the Assi- 
nois. He assembled the chiefs and old men of the nation, and persuaded 
them, against their wishes, to admit the strangers among them. This 
was the first appearance of the Spaniards on the east side of the Rio 
Bravo ; except when they resorted thither, and by violence removed the 
wretched colony which La Salle had planted. 

St. Denys, in May following repaired again to Mexico, with a quantity 
of merchandise, to exchange for articles indispensably necessary in Lou- 
isiana ; expecting, also, a punctual fulfilment of the stipulations already 
made. On his arrival, he found the old viceroy on his death-bed, and his 
successor indifferent to his claims. He was also arr<«6ted and confined in 
a duncreon ; denounced as a smuggler and a spy, and his merchandise 
seized and condemned as contraband. This act of injustice excited the 
murmurs of the Spanish populace to such a degree, that he was liberated 


from confinement, but restricted to the limits of the city. His situation 
being disagreeable, if not dangerous, he resolved to escape; and in Sep- 
tember, 1718, fled from Mexico in the night, procured a good horse by 
dismounting the rider, and arrived in Louisiana in April, 1719. 

The Spaniards, in the meantime, added to their numbers amono- the 
Assinois, till the French found themselves too weak to counteract their 
designs ; and the fate of St. Denys, indicating to them what they had a 
right to expect, they retired in season to avoid the snare intended for them. 
The Spaniards, by fraud and deception, and in violation of mutual 
agreements, thus established themselves within the territory previously 
discovered and occupied by the French. Hence the origin of the Spanish 
title to Texas.* 

Crozat, and La Motte, his partner, like other adventurers who had pre- 
ceded him, anticipated a fortune from its mines, and for many years the 
like hope excited the attention of France and Europe generally. Two 
pieces of silver ore, left by a traveller from Mexico, beino- exhibited at 
Kaskaskia to the royal govcvaor, as the produce of a mine in Illinois, he 
repaired immediately thither, elated at the prospect, to be in his turn dis- 
appointed. He discovered an abundance of lead and copper on the Upper 
Mississippi, the Missouri, and Lake Superior, which ought, perhaps, to 
have paid him for all his toil. Silver and gold, however, were his objects: 
nothing less would satisfy the rapacity of the age. Of these, no discov- 
eries had yet been made. 
, De La Motte soon afterward died, and was succeeded by Bienville. 
His accession to the government became a source of vexation. As a 
statesman and soldier, he was better qualified than his predecessor to stem 
the tide of adversity ; but such was the reduced condition of the province, 
that he despaired almost of preserving it. All the ports on the Continent 
being closed against France, he found it difficult to obtain supplies. At 
this period, the whole population of the province, exclusive of Illinois, was 
but seven hundred persons, and four hundred head of cattle. 

Five years' experience had convinced Crozat that he had nothino- to 
expect from Louisiana. Although he had provided large supplies of men 
and money, no prospect of indemnity presented itself. Agricultui'e was 
the aversion of its settlers, and immense sums of money were expended 
in the purchase of provisions. During the five years that Crozat held the 
province, his expenses were four hundred and twenty-five thousand livres, 
and his receipts arising from its trade three hundred thousand, leaving a 
balance of one hundred and twenty-five thousand livres. 

Under such circumstances, he surrendered his grant to the crown, in 
1717, and the province was immediately thereafter granted to the com- 
pany of the Indies, projected by the celebrated John Law — more particu- 
larly known as " the Mississippi scheme." 

* See Stoddart— Louisiana, 35. 



The present generation are unacquainted with the sufferings their ancestors endured. 
The difficulties which attend the settlement of a new country are by many thought severe, 
but when to those difficulties Indian hostilities are superadded, how much are they en- 
hanced. The following accoimt of the attack upon HaverhUl, and the story of Mrs. DuBtan ' 
are specimens only of what was done and suffered, in that extraordinary age. 

On the 15th of March, 1697, during the continuance of the same war waged by France 
against England, to settle the right to thrones, a party of Indians attacked the town of 
Haverhill, in Massachusetts, burnt a few houses, and killed and captured about forty of its 
inhabitants. Arrayed in savage terror, they also attacked the house of a Mt. Dustan, in 
its vicinity. The husband, when the savages approached, was at work in his field, and 
his wife the week before had been confined. On hearing the first alarm, he mounted his 
horse and flew to her assistance, with the hope of rescuing his family — consisting of his 
wife, her nurse, and eight children — from the inhuman butchers. He instantly directed 
seven of his children to fly with their utmost speed to an adjacent forest, and repaired, 
himself, to the apartment of liis wife. Before she could leave her bed the savages were 
upon her. Unable to afford her any assistance, and despairing of succor, he flew imme- 
diately to the door, and mounting his horse, determined on overtaking the httle group still 
in sight, to snatch up the child v«th which he was unable to part, and flee to a place of 
safety. On overtaking them, however, he was tmable to make a choice, and resolved, 
therefore, to defend them or die by their side. The Indians pursued and fired upon him ; 
he returned their fire, retreating at the same time in rear of his little charge ; and 
by thus firing and thus retreating, alternately, cheering his little group — now trembling 
with affright, now stumbling and falling among the stumps and bushes, for mcyre than a 
mile ; he was enabled at last, by the aid of Providence, to lodge them safe in a distant house. 
The party which assailed his dwelling, found Mrs. Dustan in bed, and the nurse, with the 
infant in her arms, attempting to fly. They ordered the fonner to rise instantly, and 
before she could dress herself, obUged her and the nurse to quit the house ; which, being 
effected, they plundered and set it on fire. In company with other captives, they com- 
menced a long and dreary march into the forest — Mrs. Dustan sick, feeble, and terrified 
beyond measure ; partially clad, one of her feet bare, and the season unfit for travelling. 
They had not proceeded far, when the savage she was directed to call master, thinking, 
perhaps, that her infant would impede their march, snatched it from the nurse and dashed 
its head against a tree. Such of the captives as lagged, were immediately tomahawked. 
Acts like these, however barbarous, resulted not from revenge ; nor were they considerd 
by savages cruel. They were matters only of convenience . Charlevoix, the historian of 
New-France, a man of talents, of considerable refinement, and a Frenchman, speaks of the 
nrarder of defenceless women and children almost with approbation. 

The distress felt by Mrs. Dustan on account of her child ; her anxiety for those she had 
left ; the unceasing terror vpith which she was filled, on account of herself and companion ; 
raised this sickly, unprotected woman so far above her nature, that, notwithstanding her 
exposure to cold, hunger, and fatigue, sleeping on the ground under an inclement sky in 
March, she reached an Indian settlement, eighty miles distant, without impairing her 

The cabin, or wigwam, of her master was occupied by twelve persons. In April they 
set out for an Indian village more remote, and were informed that on their arrival thither, 
she and her companions would be stripped naked, scourged, and compelled to run the 
gauntlet. This exceeded their endurance, and they resolved to escape. At this time 
a young man by the name of Leonardson, who had been taken prisoner some time before, 
in Wooster, was a captive also. Accident brought him to their cabin. He was at once 
a partaker of their secrets, and agreed to participate in their toils and dangers. Young 
Leonardson, before this, had inquired of his master where he " could strike to kill in- 
stantly," and how to scalp 1 There is no period so dark as that which precedes the dawn 
of day — no time when the faculties of our nature are so thoroughly steeped in forget- 


fulness. They resolved, therefore, that on the morning of the thirtieth of April, thoy 
would attempt an escape. Mrs. Dustan a little before day, when the savages, worn down 
by previous toil, were asleep, awoke her nurse, and fellow-prisoner. It was a moment of 
fear and trembling. Home and its joys were present to her view. The savage, who had 
murdered her child, was before her, and the scalps of her slaughtered relatives were scat- 
tered around the cabin. Seizing each a tomahawk, and calling the God of mercy to their 
aid, ten of the twelve Indians lay dead at their feet. A squaw was wounded, though not 
mortally, and a child was spared by design. Taking the gun, the tomahawk, and the 
scalp of him who had murdered her babe, and a bag of other scalps, as trophies, they de- 
parted for home. Following the running brook, as their guide, they soon reached the 
Merrimack, and finding there a bark canoe, they descended the river, and were received 
by their friends at Haverhill with transports of joy. — Dr. Dwight. 

Such, in part, were the sorrows of that generation. Cruelty became an art, and honor 
the reward of those who practiced new tortures. To use the language of a faithful chron- 
icler, " Neither the milk-white brows of the ancient, nor the mournful cries of the infant/' 
were any protection. The history of the war during that period, is but a catalogue of 
misery. The brave and patriotic Schuyler, of Albany, in writing to the Marquis de Vau- 
drienl, governor of Canada, says : " My heart sweUs with indignation when I think that a 
war between Christian princes, bound to' the exactest laws of honor which their noble an- 
cestors have illustrated by brilliant examples, is degenerating into a savage and bound- 
less butchery. These are not the methods for terminating the war. Would that all the 
world thought with me on the subject." 

The English or American colonists fought like brave men, contending for their faSiiliaB 
and their homes ; but when they penetrated the forests in search of their roving enemies 
they found nothing but solitude. The Indians vanished when their homes were invaded. 



The Mississippi scheme — Illinois a part of its domain — John Law — Born at Edinburgh 
in 1671 — Loses all his property — Fights a duel — Convicted of murder — Escapes — 
Fhes to the Continent — Supports himself by gambling — Returns to Edinburgh in 
1700 — Issues proposals for a Land Bank — Rejected — Goes again to the Continent — 
Expelled from Venice and Genoa — Makes propositions to Louis XIV. — Offers his 
services to the Duke of Savoy — Becomes acquainted with the Duke of Orleans, after- 
ward Regent of France — State of the French finances — Law proposes a remedy — 
Bank of France established in 1715, and Law appointed president — Meets with great 
success — Proposes his famous Mississippi scheme — Letters patent issued in 1717 — 
Its success — ^ Stock rises from 500 livres to 5000 per share — Chancellor of France 
dismissed, at Law's request — Stock increased — Fortunes made — Law promises a 
dividend of 40 per cent. — Law's influence irresistible — Fort Chartres built in Illinois 
— Large tracts of land conceded to individuals — Still held under that title — Public 
■ frenzy continues — Impetus given to trade and manufactures — Bank stopped payment. 
May 27th, 1720 — Law dies in poverty and disgrace — Many ruined — South Sea bub- 
ble in England — Illinois ceded to the crown, 1731 — Fort Massac built on the Ohio — 
English colonists remonstrate — Their remonstrances disregarded by Sir Robert Wal- 
pole — French encroachments continue — Fort Massac taken by the Indians, and its 
garrison massacred — Illinois ceded to England, 1763. 

Louis XIV. having by his extravagance, and by frequent expensive 
and unprofitable wars, created a debt of three thousand millions of livres, 
and by so doing, laid a foundation broad and deep, for the wide -spread 
ruin that followed; died at Versailles on the 1st of September, 1715, in 
the seventy-eighth year of his age, and the seventy-third of his reign. 
He was succeeded by his grandson, Louis XV., then a child five years 
old^pf a feeble and delicate constitution ; and the Duke of Orleans, a 
nephew of the late king, notwithstanding his dissolute morals, and his 
proximity to the throne, against the will of the late monarch, became 
Regent of France. 

The valley of the Mississippi, including Illinois, was at that time held 
and occupied by Crozat, under a grant made by Louis XIV. in 1712, as 
already stated.* The little barter between the inhabitants of Louisiana 
and the natives, insignificant as it was, and the petty trade between the 
French and the other European settlements in their vicinity, was rendered 
almost profitless by the fatal monopoly of the Parisian merchant. The 
Indians were too numerous and too powerful to be controlled by his fac- 
tors. The English had monopolized already a portion of the Indian trade. 

* See copy of the grai>t, page 123. / / , >p/ 


Every Spanish harbor on the Gulf of Mexico had been closed against his 
. vessels, and every Frenchman in Louisiana was not only hostile to his 
interests, but was aiding and assisting to foment difficulties in the colony. 
Crozat's retrocession, therefore, of Louisiana to the crown, in 1717, was 
the result of necessity, as well as choice. 

A new theatre, however, was about to open, new actors to appear, and 
new objects to be attained. Military glory, the pride of Louis XIV., 
more conspicuous during his reign than any, or perhaps every other 
object, was now dethroned, and the altar of Plutus erected by acclamation, 
amid dreams of avarice, on its ruins. 

The misfortunes of La Salle, the ill success of Ibberville and Crozat, 
were still remembered, and the bones of deceased emigrants who had 
sought the Mississippi as their homes, still whitened its valley ; yet vis- 
ions of untold wealth existing somewhere on its tributary waters, were 
again revived ; and mines of silver and gold, plantations of indefinite ex- 
tent and surpassing beauty, towns and cities, commerce and the arts, again 
invoked to replenish an exhausted treasury, and preserve, if possible, a 
sinking empire. Hence the Mississippi scheme, above referred to. 

The State of Illinois having once been a part of its domain, having also 
participated in its bounty, and experienced its reverses, and some portions 
of its territory being at present held under titles from a company, of which 
the celebrated John Law was the projector and finisher, a short notice of 
his singular career, and of the famous Mississippi scheme, which rose and 
fell with its author, cannot be obtrusive. 

History, we are told, is the prophet of events ; the present generation, 
therefore, may derive perhaps some profit, as well as pleasure, from its 
perusal ; and should we in the course of our narrative, 

" Give you here a little book. 
For you to look upon, 
That you may see your father's face 
When he is dead and gone ;" 

the donation, we hope, being kindly intended, will be kindly received, 

John Law, who, during his life, and for several years thereafter^ 
strewed the paths of princes and their subjects, sometimes with flowers 
and sometimes with thorns ; was born at Edinburgh, in Scotland, of hum- 
ble but respectable parents, in 1671. His early career was one of inter- 
est — not to be imitated, but to be shunned ; and though common at the 
present day, much instruction, both salutary and useful, may be gathered 
from its recital. 

At the age of fourteen he was received into his father's counting-house, 
in Edinburgh, as a clerk, and for about three years labored assiduously 
at his desk. His father's occupation was that of a goldsmith and banker. 
By his death, in 1688, a considerable fortune descended to this his only 
son, who, at the early age of seventeen, sallied forth without rudder or 
compass, into a wide, tumultuous, and deceitful world. 


Young, vain, good looking, tolerably rich, and unrestrained, he pro- 
ceeded to London, where he frequented the most fashionable gaming- 
houses, and pursuing on all occasions a certain plan, based on abstruse 
calculations, he won considerable money. Gamblers envied his luck, 
looked on with wonder, and imitated his example. 

In gallantry he was equally fortunate, and ladies of exalted rank 
smiled graciously upon the handsome Scotchman. 

Success, however, soon paved the way for reverses, and as the love of 
play increased in violence, it diminished in prudence. Great losses could 
only be repaired by greater ventures, and notwithstanding his long expe- 
rience, at the close of an unlucky day, he lost everything he had. Goods, 
chattels, credit, money, and character, even the patrimony now his by a 
father's bounty. 

His gallantry, at the same time, led him into serious difficulty, and a 
love affair, a slight flirtation with a Miss Villars, afterward the Countess 
of Orkney, exposed him to the resentment of a Mr. Wilson, by whom he 
was challenged to fight a duel. He accepted the challenge, killed his 
antagonist on the spot, was arrested the same day, and soon thereafter 
was indicted for murder, tried, found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged. 
This sentence was afterward commuted for a fine, upon the ground that 
the offence amounted only to manslaughter. An appeal was entered by 
a brother of the deceased, and the prisoner detained in jail, from whence, 
by means yet unexplained, he escaped, and fled to the Continent. The 
sheriffs were afterward prosecuted, Law was advertised in the Gazette, 
and a reward offered for his arrest. The advertisement being a carica- 
ture, in part, was published, as many supposed, to aid his escape. He 
was there described as Captain John Law, a Scotchman, twenty-six years 
old ; very tall, black, and lean, well shaped, about six feet high, with 
large pock-holes in his face, big nose, and speaking broad and loud." 

For about three years he traversed the Continent, devoting his mornings 
to the study of finance and the principles of trade, and his evenings to the 
gaming-house, and returned to Edinburgh in 1700, where he issued pro- 
posals for establishing a council of trade — they excited, however, but little 
attention. He afterward published the project of a land-bank — a sand- 
bank, as it was called by the wits of the day, which would wreck the 
vessel of state. He proposed that its notes should in no event exceed the 
value of the entire lands of the kingdom ; that the holder of its bills should 
receive legal interest upon his notes, with a right to enter upon and take 
possession of the lands pledged for their payment, at a certain time and 
upon certain conditions. This project excited for a time considerable 
discussion in the Scottish Parliament, had numerous friends in that body, 
and was ultimately rejected, on the ground that to establish any kind of 
paper credit and make it current by law, would subject the whole coun- 
try to the mercy of brokers, and was, therefore, inexpedient to the nation. 

Having failed in every project he attempted in Scotland, and his efforts 
to procure a pardon for the murder of Wilson, having proved abortive, he 


withdrew to the Continent to resume his occupation as a garhbler, and to 
become the friend and the companion of princes. For fourteen years he 
roamed about Flanders, Holland, Germany, Hungary, Italy and France, 
supporting himself by successful play. During that period he studied the 
European character, became acquainted with the trade and resources of 
those nations through which he wandered, and was daily more and more 
convinced, that no country could prosper without a paper currency. At 
every gambling-house of note, in almost every capital in Europe, he was 
known and appreciated as a man better skilled in the doctrines of chance 
than any other. Having been expelled first from France, and afterward 
from Genoa, by the magistrates, who thought him a dangerous visitor, he 
repaired to Paris, where he became obnoxious to the police, and was 
ordered to quit the capital. He had made, however, the acquaintance of 
the gay Duke of Orleans, who promised to become his patron. Louis 
XIV. then occupied the throne. Law proposed his scheme of finance to 
the comptroller of the public funds, who was asked by the king if the 
projector was a Catholic, and being answered in the negative, Louis XIV. 
declined his services. 

His scheme was next proposed to the reigning Duke of Savoy, who at 
once told the projector that his dominions were too limited for the execu- 
tion of so great a project, and that he was too poor a potentate to be 
ruined. That he had no doubt, however, but the French people, if he 
knew anything of their character, would be delighted with a plan so new 
and so plausible, and advised him to go to France. 

Louis XIV. being now in his grave, and an infant on the throne, the 
Duke of Orleans, a friend and patron of Law, assumed the reigns of 
gov-ernment, as Regent of France, and a tide of glory at that time setting 
in, he mounted the topmost wave, and advanced speedily to fortune. 

Louis of France, surnamed by courtiers, by flatterers, and by some 
historians, The Great, was, in truth, the very meanest of kings. He was 
scarcely entombed, before public hatred, suppressed for years, like a 
flaming volcano burst forth upon his memory. He was cursed as a 
tyrant, a bigot, and a plunderer ; his statues were pelted and disfigured ; 
his effigies were torn down ; the glory of his arms was forgotten ; and 
nothing was remembered but his reverses. His extravagance was con- 
demned, his selfishness reproved, and his cruelty and oppression were 
themes of every tongue. The elegance of his person, the suavity of his 
manner, and his patronage of learned men, were, it is true, applauded ; 
but when accomplishments like these are the only recommendations of a 
prince, (and that Louis had others will not be pretended,) where, it may 
Well be asked, are his pretensions to public gratitude, or to enduring 
fame ? Eclipsed, however, in the career of profligacy, by his succes- 
sor, his name and character, from that circumstance, were saved for the 
time being from infamy. 

After defraying the expenses of government, about nine millions of 
livies were all that remained to pay the interest of a debt, originally three 


thousand millions, now reduced, by arbitrary reductions, to a little more 
than two, the interest of which, at four per cent., exceeded eighty mil- 
lions per annum. The national securities, therefore, it will readily be 
seen, were of uncertain value ; the national finances in the utmost disor- 
der, and France itself on the brink of ruin. 

The first care of the regent, was to remedy this evil ; and a council 
was therefore called. The Duke De St Simon, advised the regent to 
convoke the States General, and declare a national bankruptcy. Others 
represented the expedient as dishonest and ruinous, and this desperate 
remedy was, for a time, postponed. The one, however, finally adopted, 
though it promised fair, aggravated the evil. A recoinage was ordered, 
and the whole currency of the kingdom was depreciated one fifth in its 
value. A chamber of justice was next instituted to inquire into the mal- 
versations of the loan contractors and farmers of the. revenue. Extrav- 
agant joy at once seized the nation, and fear and alarm were depicted on 
the countenances of every oflice-holder. The officers charged, met with 
no sympathy. The Bastile shortly was filled. The country prisons 
teemed with guilty and suspeqted persons, and royal edicts were issued to 
prevent innkeepers and postmasters from furnishing horses for their escape. 
Some were condemned to the galleys, and the least guihy to fine and im- 
prisonment ; and one, a Mr. Bernard, to death, although he had offered 
six millions of livres to be allowed to escape. Courtiers and courtiers' 
wives, however, pocketed the spoils, and the country was poor and dis- 
tressed as ever. Out of one hundred millions of livres thus collected, 
eighty millions only were applied to the public debt. 

In the midst of this financial confusion, John Law presented himself at 
court, and was cordially received. He insisted, that all the evils which 
had befallen France were owing, not to the improvidence, extravagance, 
or the malversation of those who had been, or were then in power, but to 
an insufficient currency. That the specie of France, unaided by paper 
money, was inadequate to its wants, and cited England and Holland as 
examples. He thereupon proposed to set up a bank, which should have 
the management of the royal revenues, and issue notes on that and landed 
security. That it should be administered in the king's name, and be 
subject to the control of commissioners, to be appointed by the States 
General . 

On the 5th of May, 1716, a royal edict was published, by which Law 
and his brother were authorized to establish a bank, with a capital of 
six millions of livres, the notes of which should be received in the pay- 
ment of taxes. They were issued, payable at sight, and in the coin cur- 
rent at the time they loere issued. This last was a master stroke of policy, 
and immediate'ly rendered his notes more valuable than the precious 
metals. ' The capital consisted of one-fourth specie, and three-fourths 
state securities. The stock was, of course, immediately subscribed. A 
thousand livres of silver might be worth their nominal value one day, 
and one-fifth less the next ; but a note of Law's bank retained its original 


value. Law, in the meantime, publicly declared, that a banker deserved 
death, who made issues without means for their redemption. The con- 
sequence was, that his notes shortly commanded a premium of " fifteen 
per cent.," while the notes issued by Government, as security for debts 
contracted by the extravagance of Louis XIV,, were at seventy-eight and 
a half per cent, discount. 

The contrast was so great, that Law's credit rapidly extended itself, 
and branches of his'bank were at the, same time established in Lyonsj 
Rochelle, Tours, Amiens, and Orleans. The regent became astonished 
at its success ; and paper money, which could thus aid metallic currency, 
it was thought could supersede it altogether. On this fundamental error^ 
both the regent and the French people, simultaneously acted. 

Law, whose influence was now irresistible, next proposed his famous 
Mississippi scheme. This became afterward a connecting link between 
his history and ours, and rendered his name immortal. 

Letters patent were issued in 1717, to establish a trading company to 
the Mississippi, known at first as the Western company, to be divided into 
two hundred thousand shares, of five hundred livres each. Its capitalto 
be composed of state securities at par ; a hundred millions of the most 
depreciated stocks were thus absorbed, and the Government became in- 
debted to a company, of its own creation, instead of individuals, for that 
amount. Through the bank previously established by Law, the interest 
in this portion of the public debt was punctually paid, in consequence 
whereof, an immediate rise in its value took place, from a depreciation 
of seventy-eight and a half per cent, to par. The person, therefore, who 
had purchased a hundred livres of state debts, which he could have done 
at any time for twenty-one and a half livres, and invested it in stocks of 
the Western company, was now enabled to realize in cash, one hundred 
livres for his investment. Large fortunes were thus speedily acquired. 
Although the union of the bank with the risks and responsibilities of a 
commercial company, was ominous of its future destiny ; the interest 
of its capital for one year, having been paid — not from its profits, for none 
had yet accrued, but from other sources, all of them fictitious — public 
credit was apparently restored, as if by a miracle. Hope is the parent 
of joy. Humanity abounds in hope. Men acting in masses, frequently 
with, and sometimes without cause, anticipate the approach of better 
times. How far these anticipations were realized in the case now under 
review, will appear in the sequel. 

Crozat having resigned the commerce of Louisiana, it was transferred 
immediately to the Western company, and the valley of the Mississippi 
inflamed at once the public mind. The whole of France saw, in pros- 
pect, its future glory, and beheld the opulence of coming ages already 
in their grasp. 

On the 25th of August, 1717, eight hundred emigrants arrived in 
three vessels, and cast anchor near Dauphin Island, instead of ascending 
the Mississippi. They there disembarked ; some perished for want of 


enterprise, some for want of food, some from the climate, and some pros- 
pered exceedingly. Du Tissinet, taking a compass and an escort of men, 
went to Quebec, and returned from thence across the countiy, with his 
family- Other hardy emigrants from Canada resorted thither, and these, 
by their enterprise, were more successful than any other colonists. The 
city of New-Orleans was immediately founded among cane-brakes, and 
named after the dissolute regent, who " denied God, and trembled at a 

Law's bank, in the meantime, had wrought such wonders in France, 
that new privileges were conferred upon it daily. It monopolized the 
tobacco trade ; it monopolized, also, the slave trade ; for the French.- 
colonies, it enjoyed the right of refining gold and silver ; and was finally, 
in January, 1717, erected into the royal bank of France. The Western 
or Mississippi company, was also merged into th e " company of the In- 
dies," and new shares of its stock were created, and sold at an enormous- 
profit. New monopolies were granted to it, and the trade to the India 
seas. The profits of the royal mint, and the profits of farming the whole 
revenue of France were afterward appended. The Government, whose 
power was absolute, conspired to give the widest extension to its credit ; 
" and Law," says Marmontel, " might have regulated, at his pleasure, 
the interest of money, the value of stocks, and the price of labor and 

A speculating frenzy at once pervaded the whole nation. The max- 
ims which Law had promulgated, " that a banker deserved death, who 
made issues of paper without the means of redeeming it," were over- 
looked, or forgotten. While the affairs of the bank were under the con- 
trol of Law, its issues did not exceed about 60,000,000 livres ; on be- 
coming the royal bank of France, they rose at once to 1,000,000,000. 
Whether this was the act of Law, or the regent, we are uninformed. 
That Law, however, lent his aid to inundate the whole country with paper 
money, is conceded by all ; and dazzled by his former success, he may 
not have foreseen the evil day which was fast approaching. 

The chancellor, who opposed the issues, was dismissed at the instance 
of Law, and a tool of the regent appointed his successor. The French 
Parliament foresaw the danger, and remonstrated with the regent. Their 
remonstrances, however, were all in vain. The regent annulled their 
decrees, and on their proposing that Law, who they considered as the 
cause of the whole evil, should be brought to trial, and if found guilty, 
be hung at the gates of the palace of justice ; the president, and two 
of its most prominent councillors, were committed to prison. Law, 
alarmed for his safety, fled to the Palais Royal, threw himself on the re- 
gent's protection, and, for awhile, thus escaped the public indignation. 

The danger of personal violence at length being removed, he devoted 
himself to the Mississippi scheme ; the shares of which rose rapidly. 
In spite of Parliament, fifty thousand new shares were added, arid its 
privileges extended. The stock was paid for in state securities, with 


only one hundred livres for five hundred of stock ; and Law promised to 
each holder, yearly, a dividend of two hundred livres, upon a share equal 
to forty per cent, on the whole capital thus invested. Visions so splendid 
could not be resisted. 

The company of the Indies being now connected with the royal bank 
of France, its first attempts at colonization were conducted with careless 
prodigality. To entice emigrants thither, the richest prairies, the most 
inviting fields in the whole valley of the Mississippi, were conceded to 
companies, or to individuals who sought principalities in America. An 
extensive prairie in Arkansas, bounded on all sides by the sky, was con- 
ceded to Law himself, where he designed to plant a city, and actually 
expended a million and a half of livres for that purpose. He also pur- 
chased, and sent to Louisiana, three hundred slaves. Mechanics from 
France, and emigrants from Germany were, at his expense, transported 
thither, and gifts of great value, were lavished by his agents upon those 
savage tribes with whom they had smoked the calumet. Notwithstanding, 
however, his efforts and his expenditures, that industry, that economy and 
perseverance, so essential to the prosperity of a new settlement, was not 
there ; and when a Jesuit priest, in 1729, visited the colony, thirty miser- 
able Frenchmen alone remained, and those had been abandoned by their 

During this paroxysm, when every stockholder in the Western com- 
pany supposed that his coffers were already filled, and his happiness 
complete, Fort Chartres, near Kaskaskia, in this state, was projected. It 
was built by the company in 1720, to protect themselves against the Span- 
iards, with whom France was then at war, and was located near the cen- 
tre of the French settlements in Illinois. Father Charlevoix, who visit- 
ed this country in 1721, observes, that " Fort Chartres stands about the 
distance of a musket-shot from the river, (Mississippi,) and that M. Duque 
de Boisbriant, a gentleman from Canada, commands there for the com- 
pany to whom the place belongs." (See note.) 

We have already observed, that in spite of Parliament, eighty thou- 
sand shares were added to the stock of the royal India company, at one 
time. For these new shares, three hundred thousand applications were 
made, and Law's house was beset from morning till night, with eager 
applicants ; and as it was some time before the list of fortunate stock- 
holders could be completed, the public impatience rose to a pitch of 

Dukes, marquisses, and counts, with their wives and daughters, wait- 
ed for hours in the streets, before his door, to know the result ; and to 
avoid being jostled by the plebeian crowd, took apartments in the adjacent 
houses, the rents of which rose from a thousand livres, to twelve, and in 
some instances, sixteen thousand livres per annum. The demand for 
shares was so great, induced by so many golden dreams, that it was 
thought advisable to increase them three hundred thousand more, at five 
hundred livres each ; and such was the eagerness of the nation to become 


subscribers, that three times the amount, if Government had ordered it, 
would at once have been taken. 

Law was now in the zenith of his glory, and the people in the zenith 
of their infatuation. The high and the low, the rich and the poor, were 
at once filled with the visions of boundless wealth ; and people of every 
age and sex, rank and condition, were engaged in buying and selling 
stock. A cobbler, who had a stall near Mr, Law's, gained two hundred 
livres a day by letting it out, and finding materials, to brokers and other 
clients. A hump-backed man, who stood in the street, as the story goes, 
gained considerable sums by lending his back, as a writing-desk, to the 
eager spectators. 

Law, finding his residence inconvenient, removed to the Place Ven- 
dome, whither the crowd followed him ; and the spacious square had the 
appearance of a public market. Booths and tents were erected for the 
transaction of business and the sale of refreshments ; the boulevards and 
public gardens were forsaken, and the Place Vendome became the most 
fashionable lounge for parties of pleasure. A lease of the Hotel de 
Soissons, which had a garden of several acres in its rear, was taken, and 
the garden reserved to the owner. This contained some fine statues, and 
several fountains, and was laid out with much taste. About five hundred 
tents and pavillions were here erected, for the convenience of stock- 
jobbers, and each tent was let at five hundred livres a month, making a 
monthly revenue of two hundred and fifty thousand livres. 

The honest old soldier. Marshal Villars, was so vexed at the folly of 
his countrymen, that he could never speak upon the subject with any 
temper; and, passing through the Place Vendome in his carriage one 
day, he ordered his coachman to stop, and putting his head out of the 
carriage-window, hai-angued the people, till hisses and shouts, and some- 
thing more tangible, were seen flying in the direction of his head ; when 
he was o-lad to drive on, and never afterward repeated the experiment. 

Peers, judges, and bishops, thronged the Hotel de Soissons ; officers of 
the army and navy, ladies of title and fashion, were seen waiting in the 
ante-chamber of Mr. Law, to beg for a portion of his India stock. He 
was unable to see one-tenth part of the applicants, and every species of 
ingenuity was employed to gain an audience. Peers, whose dignity 
would have been outraged if the regent had made them wait half an hour 
for an interview, were content to wait six hours, for the purpose of seeing 
this wily adventurer. Enormous fees were paid to his servants, merely 
to announce their names ; and ladies of rank employed the blandish- 
ments of all their smiles. One lady in particular, who had striven many 
days in vain to see him, ordered her coachman to keep strict watch, and 
when he saw him coming, to drive against a post and upset her. At 
last she espied Mr. Law, and pulling the string, called out to the coach- 
man : " Upset us now." The coachman drove against a post, the lady 
screamed, the coach was overturned, and Mr. Law, who had seen the 
accident, came to her assistance. She was led to his house, and as soon 


as she thought it advisable, recovered from her fright, apologized for her 
intrusion, and confessed the stratagem. Law, who was a gallant man, 
could no longer resist, and entered her name in his books as the purchaser 
of a quantity of India stock. A Madame de Bouche, knowing that Mr. 
Law was at dinner at a certain house, proceeded thither in her carriage, 
and gave the alarm of fire ; and while everybody was scampering away, 
she made haste toward him, and he, suspecting the trick, ran off in an- 
other direction. 

A celebrated physician in Paris had bought stock at at unlucky period, 
and was anxious to sell out. While it was rapidly falling, and his mind 
was filled with the subject, he was called upon to attend a lady who 
thought herself unwell. Being shown up stairs, he felt of the lady's 
pulse, and moi*e intent upon his stock than his patient, exclaimed : " It 
falls, it falls ! good God, it falls continually !"' The lady, alarmed, started 
up, and ringing the bell for assistance, "Oh, doctor!" said she, "I am 
dying — I am dying ! it falls!" "What falls?" inquired the doctor, in 
amazement. "'My pulse — my pulse !" said the lady; "tam dying!" 
"Calm your apprehensions, my dear madam," said the doctor, "I was 
speaking of the stocks. I have been so great a loser, and my mind is so 
disturbed, that I hardly know what I was saying." The effect of all this 
upon the public mind and the public manners, was overwhelming ; the 
laxity of public morals, conspicuous enough before, became more so; and 
the pernicious love of gambling diffused itself through society, and bore 
all public and nearly all private virtue before it. 

!•■>. While this confidence lasted, an impetus was given to trade, which it 
had never known. Strangers flocked to the capital from every part of 
the globe, and its population was temporarily increased three hundred 
and five thousand souls. Housekeepers were obliged to mate up beds 
in garrets, kitchens, and even stables, for the accommodaticn of lodgers. 
The looms of the country worked with uncommon activ^y. Provisions 
shared the general advance; wages rose in the same proportion. The 
artizan who had gained his fifteen sous a day, now gained sixty. An 
illusory prosperity everywhere prevailed, and so dazzled the eyes of the 
victim, that no one could perceive on the horizon a dark cloud, which 
announced the approaching storm. 

Law, at this time, was by far the most influential person in the state ; 
his wife and daughters were courted by the highest nobility, and their 
alliance sought by ducal and princely houses. 

In 1720, an alarm was created. Some specie was demanded; Law 
became alarmed — the precious metals had left the kingdom. Coin, for 
more than five hundred livres, was declared an illegal tender. A council 
of state was held, and it was ascertained that two thousand six hundred 
millions of livres were in circulation ; and on the 27th of May, the bank 
stopped payment. The people assailed Law's carriage with stones as he 
was entering his own door, and but for the dexterity of his coachman, he 
would have been torn in pieces. On the following day. his wife and 



daughters were attacked by the mob, as they were returning in their 
carriage from the races. The regent being informed of these occurrences, 
sent him a guard for his protection. Finding his own house, even with 
this guard, insecure, he repaired to the palace, and took apartments with 
the ref^ent. He afterward left the kingdom ; his estates and library were 
confiscated, and he died at Venice, in extreme poverty, in 1729.* 

Such Avas the fate of John Law, who had caused several millions of 
livres to be expended in Illinois, and, for several years, had used the 
Mississippi valley as the means, or the instrument, of his ambition. 
Stock-jobbers and speculators had used it also for a similar purpose ; and 
New-Orleans was more famous in Paris when covered with cane-brakes, 
than it has been since. 

Law held, that the currency of a country was the mere " representa- 
tive of its moving wealth ;" that it need not, therefore, of itself possess in- 
trinsic value ; that the wealth of a nation may be " indefinitely increased 
by an arbitrary infusion of paper ;" that credit consisted in the "excess 
of circulatiogi over immediate resources;" and, that the "advantage of 
credit is in the direct i-atio of that excess." Hence the whimsical project 
of collecting the gold and silver of a kingdom into one bank, and supply- 
ing its place by an exclusive paper currency. 

The arbitrary action of Government, which fixed the value of stock, in 
March, 1720, at nine thousand livres for five hundred, and which forbade 
certain corporations to invest money in anything else ; and prohibited the 
circulation of gold and silver, except for change ; and required all pay- 
ments to be made in paper, over ten livres ; and which punished a person 
by fine, and exposed his specie to forfeiture, for attempting to convert a 
bill into metallic currency, was insufficient to sustain fraud and imposi- 
tion longet Although the regent's mother was enabled, by this fraud 
and imposition, to write "that all the king's debts were paid;" France 
in the end " wixs impoverished, public and private credit subverted, the in- . 
come of capitalists annihilated, and labor left without employment." A 
few wary speculators, it is true, gloried afterward in their wealth, acquired 
by the toil and misfoitunes of the suffering millions ; it was, however, a 
paltry reward for the ■wretchedness it had caused. 

France, however, was not alone in this career of infatuation. The 
South Sea scheme, devised by Sir John Blount, a man of moderate talents, 
in England, produced effects in the latter kingdom nearly as ruinous, in 
1720, as the Mississippi scheme in France. " Exchange Alley," says 
Smollet, the historian, " was filled with a strange concourse of statesmen 
and clergymen, churchmen and dissenters, whigs and tories, physicians, 
lawyers, tradesmen, and even with a multitude of females. All other 
professions and employments were utterly neglected, and the public at- 
tention wholly engrossed by this and other chimei-ical schemes, which 
were known by the denomination of ' bubbles.' A hundred such were pi'o- 

» The above history of the Company of the Indies, is taken from " The Memoirs of 
Extraordinary Delusions," by Charles Mackay. PubUshed at London, 1841. 


jected and put in execution, to the ruin of many thousands. The- sums 
proposed to be raised by these expectants, amounted to three hundred 
millions sterling, which exceeded, at that time, the value of all the landa 
in England. The nation was so intoxicated with the spirit of adventure, 
that people became a prey to the grossest delusion. An obscure projec- 
tor, pretending to have found a very advantageous scheme — which, how- 
ever, he did not explain — published proposals for a subscription, in which 
he promised that, in one month, the particulars of his project should be 
disclosed. In the meantime he declared, that every person paying two 
guineas should be entitled to a subscription for one hundred pounds, which 
would produce that sum yearly. In one forenoon this adventurer re- 
ceived a thousand of these subscriptions ; and in the evening set out, 
with his two thousand guineas in his pocket, for another kingdom. 
During the infatuation produced by this and other infamous schemes, 
luxury, vice, and profligacy increased to a shocking degree of extrava- 
gance. The adventurers, intoxicated by their imaginary wealth, pam- 
pered themselves with the rarest dainties, and the most expensive wines, 
that could be imported. They purchased the most sumptuous furniture,, 
equipage and apparel, though without taste or discernment; they in- 
dulged their criminal passions to the most scandalous excess ; their dis- 
course was the language of pride, insolence, and the most ridiculous 
ostentation ; they affected to scoff at religion and , morality, and even to 
set Heaven at defiance. It was afterward discovered that large portions 
of the South Sea stock had been given to several persons in the admin- 
istration, as well as in the House of Commons, for promoting the passage 
of the South Sea Act. The ebb," continues Smollet, " of this portentous 
tide was so violent, that it bore down everything in its way, and an in- 
finite number of families were overwhelmed with ruin. Public credit 
sustained a terrible shock ; the nation was thrown into a dangerous fer- 
ment, and nothing was heard but the ravings of grief, disappointment, and 
despair. Petitions from counties, cities, and boroughs, were presented to 
the House of Commons, dema^iding justice against the villainy of the di- 
rectors ; and the whole nation was exasperated to the highest pitch of 
excitement. At length, in 1721, by the wise and vigorous resolutions of 
Parliament, the ferment of the people subsided, and the credit of the na- 
tion was restored." Our readers -may be desirous, perhaps, of knowing 
what these " wise and vigorous resolutions of Parliament" were, thus 
spoken of with approbation by the historian. All the estates of the di-' 
rectors and officers of the company, were confiscated by an act of Parlia- 
ment, and applied toward the relief of the unhappy sufferers. Such " wise 
and vigorous resolutions," if resorted to by a legislative body in any of 
(JUT States, at the present time, would unquestionably be considered arbi- 
trary and unconstitutional. The times, however, of which we speak, 
were not those in which law was uniformly heard, or its dictates univer- 
sally obeyed. 

The Mississippi valley, on the dissolution of the India company, in ' 



1730, being retroceded to the crown, its interests were again fostered by- 
Government, and Louis XV. and his minister, Cardinal Fleury, evinced 
much anxiety in its behalf. Although Louis XIV. had been liberal in 
his expenditures, and Crozat, whose whole life had been one of success- 
ful enterprise, had assumed its direction ; and the Mississippi company, 
aided by boundless but transient credit, had there laid the foundations of 
all its hopes ; and priests and friars, and Jesuit missionaries, had used all 
their efforts to propitiate the savages ; the valley of the Mississippi, fifty 
years after the expedition of La Salle, was little else than a wilderness. 

Louisiana at this time, in French geography, included the entire valley 
of the Mississippi, and its tributary streams. Of course, all west of the 
Alleghany mountains was regarded by France as a part of her domain. 
The head-springs of the Alleghany, the Monongahela, the KanaM^a, the^ 
Tennessee, the Cumberland and the Ohio, were claimed to be hers. 

The ambitious designs of France at an early day, it was said by the 
English colonists, interfered with grants inade by the British crown ; and 
in 1731, soon after the French had erected a fort at Crown-Point, in the 
State of New-York, James Logan, secretary of Pennsylvania, prepared 
a memorial in relation to the state of the British plantations. This was 
communicated by a member of Parliament to Sir Robert Walpole, prime 
minister of England ; who, at that time, was " too much concerned for 
his own standing, to lay anything to heart that was at so great a distance. '^ 
France was, therefore, permitted to establish her influence throughout 
the whole valley of the Ohio, and to build strong houses for the Indians, 
without molestation. The Shawnees were met by Canadian traders, and 
their chiefs invited to visit the French governor at Montreal. Having done 
so, Joseph Soncaire, a wily emissary from New-France, descended the 
Ohio with them, and the whole tribe put themselves under the protection 
of Louis XV. Fort Massac, or Massacre, was thereupon erected on the 
north bank of the Ohio, in the State of Illinois, near the dividing-line be- 
tween Johnson and Pope counties in ihis State, nine miles below the 
mouth of the Tennessee river, and about fiarty miles above its junction 
with the Mississippi. 

The savages becoming afterward dissatisfied with the French, by a 
curious stratagem effected its capture. A number of Indians appeared in 
the daytime, on the opposite side of the river, each of w^om was covered 
with a bear-skin, and walked on all fours ; the French, supposing them 
' to be bears, crossed the river with a considerable force, in pursuit of the 
supposed bears, and the remainder of the troops left their quarters, and 
resorted to the bank of the river in front of the garrison, to observe the 
sport. In the meantime, a large body of warriors, who were concealed 
in the woods near by, came silently up behind the fort, and entered it 
without opposition ; and a few only of the French garrison escaped the 

The French afterward built another fort on the same ground,. and, in 

* See Stoddart's Sketches of Louisiana. 


commemoration of this disastrous event, called it Fort Massac, or Massa- 
cre, which name it still retains.* 

It was occupied by the French until about 1750, when it was aban- 
doned. After the revolutionary war, it was repaired by the Americans 
and garrisoned for several years ; but is now, like most of the ancient 
forts in this country, a heap of ruins. 

During the war between England and France, which terminated in 
1748 by the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, the petty conflicts in America 
were lost in the conflagration of Europe ; and nothing in particular oc- 
curred which affected the interests or prosperity of Illinois. It was not, 
however, so in the war of 1756, which terminated by the treaty of Paris, 
in 1763. This State, including all of the Mississippi valley east of the 
river, was then ceded to England ; and the lilies of France waved no 
longer upon its prairies. 

Inasmuch, then, as the English title to Illinois was settled on the plains 
of Abraham, where the gallant Wolf fell, and expired in the arms of 
victory, a brief history of the campaign, so far as it affects the West, can- 
not be unwelcome. 


In 1756, at which time it was rebuilt by the government of France, it was half-a-mile 
from the water's edge ; in 1776, eighty paces ; in 1770, an English officer, in speaking of 
Fort Chartres, observed, " The bank of the Mississippi is continually falling in, being 
worn away by the current, wliich has been turned from its course by a sand-bank, now 
increased to a considerable island, covered with willows." 

In 1772, the river (.Mississippi) inundated its banks, and formed a chaiuiel so near the 
fort, that one side of it, and two of its bastions, were thrown down. This circumstance 
induced the British, by whom it was occupied as a garrison, to abandon it. It is now a 
heap of ruins. Trees of considerable magnitude are growing within its walls, and its 
only use is, to furnish building materials for the neighborhood. 

Captain Pittman, a British officer, whose '•' History of the European settlements on the 
Mississippi," was published in 1770, speaking of this fort, says: 

" Fort Chartres, when it belonged to France, was the seat of government of Illinois. 
The head-quarters of the English commanding officer is now here. It is an irregular 
quadrangle ; the sides of the exterior polygon, are four hundred and ninety feet. It is built 
of stone, and plastered over, and is only designed as a defence against the Indians. The 
walls are two feet and two inches thick, and are pierced ^\dth loop-holes, at regular dis- 
tances, for cannon in the faces, and two in the flanks of each bastion. The ditch has 
never been finished. The entrance to the fort is through a very handsome rustic gate, 
Within the walls is a banquette raised three feet, for the men to stand on, when they fire 
through the loop-holes. The buildings within the fort, are a commandant's and comroia- 
sary's house, the magazine of stores, corps de guarde, and two barracks ; these occupy 

the square." 

After describing the other buildings minutely. Captain Pittman concludes as follov/s : " It 

is generally believed, that this is the most convenient, and best built fort in North Amer. 


When the Western or royal India company was in possession of Illinois, claiming 

title thereto fi-om the crown of France, several extensive grants of land were made to 

individuals, which have since been confinned by the government of the United States, 

Some thousands of acres are thus held, at the present day. 


We find on record at Kaskaskia, in Randolph county, in this State, a paper executed 
more than a hundred years ago, which, translated, is in the words and figures following : 

" Pierre ' Duque Boisbriant, knight of the military order of St. Louis, and first king's 
lieutenant of the province of Louisiana, commanding at the Illinois, and Marc Antoine 
de la loire des Ursins, principal secretary for the royal India company. 

On the demand of Charles Danie, to grant him a piece of land, of five arpents in front, 
on the side of the Michigamia river, ninning north and south, joining to Michael Philip, 
on one side, and on the other, to Melique, and in depth, east and west, to the Mississippi. 

In consequence, they do grant to the said Charles Danie (in soccage) the said land, 
whereon he may, from this date, commence working, clearing, and sowing, in expectation 
of a formal concession, which shall be sent fi-om France by messieurs, the directors of 
Ae royal India company. 

And the said land shall revert to the domain oi the said company, if the said Charles 
Danie do not work thereon within a year and a day. 


May lOih, 1722. 

"We find also a grant, or concession, bearing date on the 14th of June, 1723, to Philip 
Rinault, including the village and establishment at St. Philips, of one league on the Mis- 
sissippi, and two leagues back irom thence, " to enable him to support his establishment 
at the mines of Upper Louisiana," in Illinois. Between 1722 and 1731, at which time the 
company was dissolved, and Louisiana retroceded to the crown, other grants of the 
same kind, were made to a considerable extent. 

These grants, or concessions, however, executed as they were, without pecuniary con- 
sideration, added nothing to the income or profits of the company. The settlements, or 
rather the colonization of Louisiana, so far from increasing the wealth (other than imagi- 
nary,) of the company of the Indies, served to embarrass it exceedingly. The amotmt 
expended by the company in 1720, when Fort Chartres was erected, is, we beUeve, un- . 
known. Evidence, however, of great prodigality almost everywhere exists ; Jind in 1722» 
we find the sum of 1,163,256 livres (See Stoddarfs Louisiana, 45,) disbursed in Louis- 
iff na alone, to eiFect objects of comparative inagnificance. 


fVench Encroachments — War of 1756 — Said untruly by Smollet, the English Historian, 
to be " a native of America" — Occasioned a transfer of the State of Illinois from the 
French to the English — The title to Illinois settled on the Plains of Abraham — 
Ohio Company — English Traders arrested — Discharged at the solicitation of the 
Earl of Albemarle, English embassador at Paris — The Ohio Company cause . sur- 
veys to be made- — Jealousy of the Indians excited — Indians take sides with the 
French — Major Washington sent by Governor Dinwiddle, with a message to the 
French head-quarters on the Ohio, 1753 — Leads a Military Expedition thither in 
1754 — Colonel Washington attacks and defeats a party of French and Indians — 
Builds Fort Necessity — Is attacked, and capitulates — Receives the thanks of his 
countrymen — Resigns his commission on account of orders being sent from Eng- 
land, denying Provincial officers rank when serving in the Line — Retires to Mount 
Vernon — General Braddock's Expedition — Colonel Washington invited to enter his 
family as Aid — General Braddock defeated and killed — Expedition against Crown- 
Point and Niagara — Abortive — War declared by England against France, and by 
France against England, in 1756 — Attack on Niagara, Crown-Point, and Ticonde- 
roga contemplated — Postponed — Oswego taken by the French — Its garrison inhu- 
manly massacred in part — Fort WilUam Henry taken by the French — Attack of 
Louisburgh by the English postponed " to a more convenient opportunity" — Wilham 
Pitt — Elected to Parliament — Made a member of the Privy Council — Dismissed — 
Appointed Secretary of State — Attack on the French coast — Louisburgh taken — 
St. John surrenders — Fort Frontenac taken — Fort Du Quesne abandoned — English 
attack Ticonderoga, and are repulsed — Ticonderoga and Crown-Point abandoned — 
Greneral Wolf lays siege to Quebec — Battle of Montmorenci — English defeated — 
Extraordinary Adventure — Battle of Quebec — The latter surrenders — General Wolf 
killed — Honors paid to General Wolf — also to Marquis de Montcalm — The whole 
of Canada surrenders — Pontiac — Pontiac War — Mackinaw surprised and taken by 
the Indians — Other places also taken — Attack on Detroit — Indians repulsed — Major 
Campbell massacred — Pontiac assassinated — Peace of 1763 — Illinois ceded to 

The peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, in 1748, was only a truce. Eight 
years, however, of successful and unsuccessful war, had rendered peace 
desirable. During the progress of hostilities, nothing had been gained 
by either party but an accumulation of debt. Humanity had suffered 
without an object, and without a result. Everything taken during the 
war was restored, and the boundaries between the English and French 
colonies in North America as unsettled as before. The important ques- 
tions which had provoked hostilities were still unadjusted. The contin- 
nance of public tranquillity was intrusted to standing armies ; and the 
balance of power, which had puzzled so many statesmen, remained as 
tmfixed and aneertain as ever. 


Although able men had negotiated the treaty, and supposed, and per- 
haps believed, themselves the arbiters of mankind — the pacificators of the 
world, their insight into futurity must have been limited, indeed, if they 
supposed that the workings of avarice and ambition would therefore 
cease, or that standing armies, mortified by defeat or flushed with victory, 
were suitable depositors of Europe's safety or of man's repose. 

While the British ministry were depending on the success of their 
conferences at Paris, the French in North America were executing their 
plans of encroachment upon the English colonies ; and in order to en- 
o-ross the whole trade in fur with the Indians, had made some progress, 
as we have already remai'ked, in erecting a line of forts between Canada 
and New-Orleans. Their commercial spirit, however, did not keep pace 
with their ambition. They could not, or rather did not, supply the In- 
dians with the necessaries they wanted ; many, therefore, resorted to the 
Eno-lish settlements upon the Atlantic coast, and a spirit of rivalship 
was thenceforward excited. The English undersold the French trader. 
The Indians saw, and marked the difference, and sometimes wavered in 
their political faith. 

The spirit of commercial monopoly thus unreasonably excited, in a 
few years, notwithstanding the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, roused the whole 
civilized world once more to arms. The war which followed (in 1756,) 
being, as Smollet, the English historian (untruly) observes, " a native of 
America," and producing in its result a change of masters for a consid- 
erable portion of this vast Continent, (including the whole State of Illinois,) 
demands on this occasion something more than a few passing remarks. 

Previous to the year one thousand seven hundred and fifty-three, the 
English colonists had scarcely ventured as far as the Ohio. The Appa- 
lachian and Alleghany chain of mountains, seemed for awhile to have 
bound them in an orbit, beyond which none save the solitary hunter, or 
the indefatigable vender of English merchandise, had sought to penetrate. 
The latter, however, in their excursions saw it was a goodly land ; and 
the restless foot of English adventure is never satisfied with transient 

A plan had previously been formed in Virginia, to organize a company 
to colonize this beautiful valley. The design, however, had been frus- 
trated, partly by the indolence and timidity of the English ministry, who 
were either afraid or unwilling to give umbrage to the French, and 
partly by reason of jealousy and divisions which existed among the col- 
onists. These circumstances, while they retarded the march of English 
enterprise, stimulated the French to new and reiterated efforts. 

Soon after the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, the organization of " the Ohio 
company" was revived, and an extensive tract of land, south of Penn- 
sylvania, was patented to certain individuals by the English crown. An 
exclusive privilege at the same time was granted to the company, of tra- 
ding whh the Indians on the banks of the Ohio. 

While this design was yet in contemplation, and before an attempt had 


been made tc carry it into execution, the French Governor of Canada 
took the alarm, and wrote letters to the Governors of New- York and 
Pennsylvania, giving them to understand that they were about to en- 
croach on the territories of France, and requesting them to desist imme- 
diately from their purposed undertaking. To this intimation no regard 
was paid. The English, however, continued their traffic with the Indians, 
as before, and three of their number were arrested by the French, taken 
to Canada, and their effects afterward confiscated. A remonstrance was 
thereupon made to the French government by the Earl of Albemarle, 
the English embassador at Paris, and the English traders were immedi- 
ately set at liberty. The court of Versailles promised also to send orders 
to the French governors in North America, requiring them at all times 
to use their influence and authority to prevent, as much as possible, dis- 
putes between rival traders, that would tend to disturb, and perhaps 
destroy, the harmony and good-will which then existed between the French 
and English nations. The orders, however, transmitted, to all intents and 
purposes contradicted their professions. The French officers in Canada, 
their partisans and agents, instead of heeding such friendly admonitions, 
became afterward more active than before, and strove harder than ever 
to embroil the Indians in a war with the English. They redoubled also 
their efforts to weaken the influence of the latter, and to strengthen their 
own; and in so doing, were aided to a considerable extent by the folly 
and presumption of the Ohio company. 

The Indians, having been told by the French traders that their lands 
had Taeen given away without their knowledge, and that forts were about 
to be erected in their country without their consent, became alarmed ; 
and Mr. Gist, who had been employed by the company to survey the 
banks of the Ohio, having had recourse to some foolish expedients to con- 
ceal his designs, and having behaved in a dark and mysterious manner, 
the jealousy of the natives, often inquisitive, and sometimes addicted to 
suspicions, was naturally aroused. 

The incorporation of an exclusive company, calculated, of course, to 
deprive individual traders of a profitable branch of industry, was offensive 
also in its character to a class of individuals, who, if not the most respecta- 
ble, are often the most numerous and influential upon the borders. Oppo- 
sition to the English arose, therefore, in a quarter from whence it was not 
expected ; and the concurrence of the savages, having neither been 
obtained nor solicited, they regarded the English with an evil eye, and 
their unauthorized inroads as the invasion of their country. It was rea- 
sonable then for the Indians to seek, and natural for the French to lend, 
assistance to the savages in the war that ensued. That the Indians thus 
situated, should have subsequently fought under the banners of France, 
ought not then to excite, even for a moment, our wonder or surprise. 

The French during this period fortified themselves at leisure, and har- 
assed the English traders with impunity. 

Complaints, however, soon reached the Governor of Virginia ; and in 


the fall of 1753, he dispatched Major Washington, (afterward comman- 
der-in-chief of the American armies,) then in the twenty-second year of 
his age, with a letter to the French commandant on the Ohio, wishing to 
be informed, " by whose authority his Britannic majesty's territories had 
been invaded ;" and " requiring him to depart in peace." Major Wash- 
ington having received instructions from Robert Dinwiddie, Esq., at that 
time Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, set out in obedience thereto on the 
same day he received them, and on the 14th of November reached 
Will's Creek, then a frontier settlement in his native State. 

Proceeding from thence without delay, by incessant toil, now fording 
rivers, now crossing morasses, exposed during the whole journey to the 
elements, he reached at last the head-quarters of the French command- 
ant, near Lake Erie. On the 12th of December he delivered his mes- 
sage, received an answer, and on the 16th of January following, (1754,) 
returned to Williamsburgh, then, and for a long time afterward, the 
capital of Virginia. 

Although the answer was one of defiance, and the mission therefore 
abortive, the manner in which its duties were performed reflected credit 
on Major Washington, and constituted the first link in the chain of events 
which rendered his name immortal. 

The French commandant, having indicated in his letter no intention to 
withdraw, preparations were at once commenced in Virginia to assert her 
rights. A regiment of three hundred men was immediately raised, and 
Major Washington appointed its lieutenant-colonel. Arriving with two 
companies in advance of his regiment at the Great Meadows, among the 
Alleghany mountains, in April, 1754, he was informed by some friendly 
Indians, that the French, having dispersed a party of workmen employed 
by the Ohio company, to build a fort on the southeastern branch of the 
river, were themselves erecting a fortress at the junction of the Alleghany 
and Monongahela rivers, (now Pittsburgh,) and that a detachment from 
thence, apparently with hostile views, were approaching his camp. Hos- 
tilities had not yet commenced. The British territories, however, were 
invaded, and self-preservation appealed to his sober judgment for advice. 
Amid forests remote from aid, and surrounded by savages, hostile or of 
doubtful attachment, such appeals are frequently made, and among pru- 
dent, reflecting men, never in vain. The advancing party having with- 
drawn at some distance from the path, and encamped for the night in a 
thick bottom, as if for concealment, furnished of itself, as Col. Washington 
supposed, evidence of unfriendly intentions. He resolved, therefore, to 
anticipate their attack ; and availing himself of the offer made by the 
friendly Indians, who brought intelligence of their approach, to serve him 
as guides, he proceeded at once in a dark and stormy night to the French 
encampment. Marching in perfect silence, he encompassed it before day 
on every side, and as soon as the first glimmerings of light appeared, his 
troops fired, rushed in upMi and captured (with one exception,) the whole 
party without a struggle. One man alone, M. Junonville, the command- 


ing officer, was killed. Reinforced, soon afterward, by two additional 
companies from Virginia, and succeeding, by the death of a senior officer 
to the rank of colonel, he erected, with as much expedition as possible, a 
small stockade fort at the Great Meadows, which he called Fort Necessity, 
and advanced toward fort Du Quesne, (Pittsburgh,) intending, if possible, 
to drive the French garrison from thence. Having proceeded about thir- 
teen miles in that direction, he was met by some friendly Indians, who 
informed him that the French and their savage allies., " as numerous as 
the pigeons in the woods," were advancing to meet him. Being satisfied 
from difTerent sources, that the hostile detachment consisted of eight hun- 
dred French and seven hundred Indians, and being destitute almost of 
provisions, and the ground he occupied ill adapted for defence, he returned 
to Fort Necessity, and commenced a ditch around the stockade. Before, 
however, it was completed, the little garrison was assailed by about fif- 
teen hundred French and Indians, commanded by M. de Villier. A 
violent attack was immediately commenced, and the engagement lasted 
from ten in the morning until dark, and was conducted with great intre- 
pidity on both sides. The French conamander, however, in the evening, 
desired a parley, and offered terms of capitulation. Several propositions 
were made and rejected, and others substituted in their places. During 
the night a capitulation was signed, and the fort was surrendered. Its 
little garrison marched out with the honors of war, and with their arms 
and baggage proceeded according to stipulation, without interruption, to 
the inhabited parts of Virginia. The Americans lost fifty-eight, in killed 
and wounded, and the French considerably more. Great credit was 
given to Colonel Washington by his countrymen, for the courage and con- 
duct displayed by him on thi$ occasion, and the Legislature of Virginia 
passed a unanimous vote of thanks. 

The regiment having returned to Winchester, was immediately re- 
cruited, and being joined by some companies from North Carolina and 
Maryland, were ordered by the Governor of Virginia, with the advice of 
his council, regardless of the number and condition of the force opposed to 
them, and against the advice and remonstrance of Colonel Washington, " to 
march immediately over the Alleghany mountains, and expel the French 
from Fort Du Quesne, or build another in its vicinity." ■ 

Not a shilling, however, was advanced for the recruiting service ; and 
the Assembly having adjourned, without having made any provision for 
prosecuting the war, the expedition, conceived in madness, was for the . 
present abandoned. « 

In the meantime, orders were received from England, directing " that 
all officers commissioned by the king, or by his general in North America, 
.(when serving with provincials,) should take rank of all officers com- 
missioned by the governors of the respective provinces, and that the gene- 
• jral and field officers of the provincial troops, should have no rank when 
serving with the general and iield-officers commissioned by the crown." 
Colonel Washingion, unable longer to serve his country without dishonor, 


immediately resigned. An elder brother having then recently died, and 
left him an estate on the Potomac, Colonel Washington withdrew to this de- 
liffhtful spot, and resolved in future to cultivate the arts of peace. 

His brother, having served under Admiral Vernon in the mad expedi- 
tion against Carthagena, Colonel Washington, in compliment to the admiral, 
called his estate on the Potomac Mount Vernon, thus conferring on the 
name of Vernon, more just celebrity than the admiral had done by his 


England and France, though at peace, were each of them preparing 
vigorously for war. In 1754 and '55, the affairs of America began to 
excite interest even in England ; and on the 14th of January, 1755, Major 
General Braddock, with Colonel Dunbar and Colonel Halket's regiments of 
foot, sailed from the town of Cork in Ireland for Virginia, where they all 
landed previous to the first of March. In order to give the Virginians a 
lucrative job, their march was retarded until the 12th of June ; the horses, 
wagons, and provisions for the army, were then furnished by some gentle- 
men from Pennsylvania, whither its destination ought originally to have 
been. This, however, was among the least of its misfortunes. General 
Braddock, though a man of courage, and expert at a review, (having been 
brought up in the English guards,) was haughty, positive, and difficult of 
access— qualities ill-suited to the nature of his command. His military 
education, on which he prided himself, unfitted him, in many respects, for 
Indian warfare ; and the contempt with which he regarded the American 
militia, " because they could not go through their exercises with the same 
dexterity as a regiment of guards in Hyde Park," filled the measure of 
his incompetency, and insured his defeat. Before he left England, he re- 
ceived from the Duke of Cumberland a set of instructions, in which he 
was cautioned against surprise. Instead, however, of regarding this sal- 
utary admonition, his overweening confidence in his own abilities rendered 
him superior to advice, especially from provincial officers, whose opin- 
ions were of any value. His haughtiness toward the Indians who had 
sought his camp, and whose services would have been exceedingly de- 
sirable to any other than "a supercilious fool or madman," was also of 
such a nature as to induce them to forsake his banners. 

Under these disadvantages, he began his march from Fort Cumber- 
land on the 12th of June, at the head of two thousand two hundred troops, 
most of them gallant soldiers, who had served with reputation upon the 
Continent — unfit, however, with such a leader, to meet in battle the tawny 
sons of the forest. * 

General Braddock having heard of Colonel Washington — of his mer- 
its and motives, in retiring from the service some time in March, invited 
him to enter his family as a volunteer aid. Anxious to serve under an 
officer supposed to possess some knowledge of war, he accepted the ap- 
pointment, and early in June, joined the army. Colonel Washington, 
impatient of delay, at once suggested to his commander the propriety of 
using pack-horses instead of wagons, for conveying their baggage. The 


commander, however, was so attached to the usages of regular war, that 
this salutary advice was at first rejected. Its propriety, however, when 
the army commenced its march, became too obvious to be neglected. 

On the third day after leaving Will's Creek, (June 15th,) Colonel 
Washington being seized with a fever, and being unable to ride on horse- 
back, was conveyed in a wagon, and General Braddock, finding the diffi- 
culties of the march greater than he anticipated, occasionally sought his 
company, and sometimes his advice. Colonel Washington, on this occa- 
sion, urged the general to leave his heavy artillery and baggage, with 
the rear division of the army, and press forward at the head of a chosen 
body of troops and a few pieces of light artillery, with the utmost expe- 
dition, to Fort DuQuesne (Pittsburgh.) In support of this advice, he sta^ 
ted that the French were then weak on the Ohio, but expected reinforce- 
ments daily ; that during the excessive droughts which then prevailed, 
they could not ai-rive ; that a rapid movement, therefore, might enable 
him to carry the fort, before this expected aid, now detained by reason 
of low water, could reach them ; that the whole force of the French, in 
all probability, would then be concentrated, and the success of the expe- 
dition, in that event, would be doubtful. 

This advice received at once the approbation of the commander-in- 
chief, and was adopted. It was then agreed, in a council of war, that 
twelve hundred select men, with ten pieces of light artillery, to be com- 
manded by General Braddock in person, should advance with the utmost 
expedition, and that Colonel Dunbar with the residue, and all the heavy 
baggage, should bring up the rear. 

The hopes, however, so fondly cherished by Colonel Washington of 
its rapid movements, were not fulfilled. "Instead of pushing on with 
vigor," says Colonel Washington, in a letter to his brother, written during 
the march, " without regarding a little rough road, the whole detach- 
ment was constantly halting to level every mole-hill, and erect bridges 
over every brook." Four days were thus spent in marching nine miles. 
Colonel Washington was too ill, at that time, to accompany the army fur- 
ther, and remained behind, under the protection of a small guard, with a 
promise that means should be placed at his disposal to overtake the main 
body before its arrival at Fort Du Quesne, and General Braddock, in the 
meantime, advanced without care or caution, " as if the nearer he ap- 
proached the enemy, the further he was removed from danger," and on 
the eighth of July encamped within ten miles of Fort Du Quesne. Colo- 
nel Dunbar was then about forty miles in the rear, and several officers, 
especially Sir Peter Halket, who commanded one of the regiments, ear- 
nestly entreated him to advance with caution, and to employ the, friendly 
Indians who were with him to reconnoitre the woods and thickets through 
which he was about to pass. Such, however, was the general's infatua- 
tion, that when he resumed his march on the tenth, no efforts had been 
made to obtain intelligence ; no scouts sent forward to explore the coun- 
try. As he was thus carelessly advancing, he was saluted about no(m 


with a tremendous fire of musketry upon his front and left flank, from 
an enemy so artfully concealed, that not a man of them could be seen. 
The vanguard fell back upon the main body, and in an instant the panic 
was general. Most of the troops fled with great precipitation, notwith- 
standing the efforts of their officers, many of whom conducted with ex- 
traordinary bravery. Instead of scouring the thickets with grape-shot 
from his artillery, or sending out flanking parties against the enemy, he 
remained obstinately upon the spot where he was ; and gave orders to 
the few brave officers and men who remained with him, to form regu- 
larly and advance as if he had been upon the open prairie, and his ene- 
my in full view. In the meantime his officers, singled out by unseen 
marksmen, one after another were killed or wounded, and his men fell 
thick upon every side. At last the general, whose obstinacy had increas- 
ed with his danger, and under whom three horses had already been 
killed, received a musket-shot through his right arm and lungs, and fell. 
His troops fled immediately in disorder. As soon as he had fallen, the 
confusion which prevailed before, was changed into a disorderly flight. 
Although no enemy was seen, all the artillery, ammunition, and baggage 
of the army were left to the enemy, without any one appearing to claim 
them, and among the rest, the general's cabinet with his letters and in- 
structions. The panic continued till they met the rear division, and so 
infected the latter with their terrors, that the whole army retreated with- 
out stopping till they reached Fort Cumberland. Although no enemy 
appeared in sight, either in the battle or afterward, " it was," says Smol- 
let, the historian, " the most extraordinary victory that ever was obtained, 
and the farthest flight that ever was made." The English loss was about 
seven hundred in killed and wounded, and the whole force opposed to 
them, as the French afterward reported, about four hundred, mostly In- 

Colonel Washington, weak as he was, had joined the army previous to 
the battle, and discharged the duties of a friend and volunteer aid to the 
commander-in-chief. Soon after the action commenced, he was the only 
aid alive and unwounded ; the principal duty devolved, therefore, on him. 
During the whole action he manifested that coolness, self-possession, and 
fearlesness of danger which always marked his course, and form the 
principal ingredients in the character of a soldier. Two horses were 
killed under him, and four balls passed through his coat. To the aston- 
ishment of all, he escaped unhurt, while every other officer on horseback 
was killed or wounded. General Braddock was brought off" the field in 
a tumbril by Colonel Washington, Captain Stewart of the guards, and his 
servant, and on meeting the rear division expired. 

Colonel Washington, writing afterward to Lieutenant Governor Din- 
widdle, and speaking of the regular troops, says : " They were struck 
with such an inconceivable panic, that nothing but confusion and disobedi- 
ence of orders prevailed among them. The Virginia companies behaved 
like men, and died like soldiers. Out of three companies, scarcely thirty 


were left alive. Captain Perouny, and all his officers, down to a corpo- 
ral, were killed. Captain Poulson's company had almost as hard a fate, 
for only one escaped." In another letter, he says : " We have been beat- 
en — shamefully beaten, by a handful of men, who only intended to molest 
or disturb our march. Victory was their smallest expectation." 

Braddock's defeat left the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia, for 
some time exposed to French and Indian incursions. Some settlements 
were entirely broken up ; some houses were burnt ; their crops were de- 
stroyed, and men, women, and children were captured and massacred. 
The troops stationed among them were inadequate to their protection, and ' 
occasionally were blocked up themselves in their forts. 

Had the shattered remains of Braddock's army continued at Fort Cum- 
berland, as they ought to have done, they would have been a check upon 
the French, and have saved much of the misery that followed ; instead, 
however, of doing so, they commenced their march in August, for Phil- 
adelphia, where they could be of no manner of service, under pretence 
of going into winter-quarters. The whole expedition then, instead of 
aiding the colonies, was prejudicial to their interests ; inasmuch as it 
drew down upon unoffending women and children, the effects of savage 

In order to gratify the cupidity of a few merchants in London who 
traded to Maryland and Virginia, the Ohio company was formed — its con- 
duct provoked a war — defeat and disgrace succeeded, and the colonists 

On the death of General Braddock, Governor Shirley, of Massachusetts, 
succeeded as commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America. 
His son had been secretary to General Braddock, and was killed at Brad- 
dock's defeat. Governor, now General Shirley, planned two expeditions 
against the enemy — one to be led by General, afterward Sir William 
Johnson, against Crown-Point, in New- York — the other by himself, against 
Fort Niagara ; both of which proved abortive. The campaign of 1755, 
begun under flattering auspices, conducted by experienced officers, and 
supported by disciplined soldiers, thus passed away, and nothing was 
effected . 

General Shirley being " no ways qualified to conduct military opera- 
tions," early in 1756 was recalled, and General Aberci'ombie appointed 
his successor. Two British regiments, in March, 1756, accompanied him^ 
to America. The Earl of Loudon, appointed to the government of Vir- 
ginia, was to act as commander-in-chief, and was vested with power and 
authory but little inferior to that of a viceroy. 

England and France during all this time were at peace. Hostilities 
by sea and land, it is true, had been carried on with considerable vigor, , 
and battles had been fought and won : still, their majesties of England and 
of France were exchanging the most cordial salutations. 

On the 18th of May, 1756, the King of England declared war against 
France, and in the beginning of June, the King of France reciprocated 


the compliment, and declared war against England. The declaration of 
the latter was couched in terms of uncommon asperity. 

The British monarch, in his declaration, admits " that he had given 
orders for seizing the ships of the French king and his subjects at sea. 
He accuses the latter, among other things, of invading Minorca in a hos- 
tile manner, and threatening to invade England, and concludes by obser- 
ving, that he " could no longer, consistently with the honor of his crown 
and the welfare of his subjects, remain within those bounds which, from a 
desire of peace, he had hitherto observed." All this, it will be recollected, 
was subsequent to Braddock's expedition against the French posts upon 
the Ohio, and the expeditions of General Shirley and Sir William Johnson 
— one against Fort Niagara, the other against Crown-Point — all of which 
had failed for want of skill and conduct in their execution. 

The King of France, laying aside that politeness and decorum on which 
his people valued themselves above all the nations of the earth, in his 
declaration, charged England '-with piracy, perfidy, inhumanity, and 

It would seem, then, that the war was not, as Smollet alleges, a "native 
of America " — that it had its origin in other sources — and if the protection 
of American colonists had been its only object, peace might have existed 
even to the present day. 

The subject is no otherwise important, than as it furnished Great Brit- 
ain with some little pretext for afterward saying, that " she had fought 
our battles and shed her blood in our cause." Be that, however, as it 
may, England and France were now at war. 

Public expectation was at once turned to America.. General Aber- 
crombie, as the successor of Governor Shirley, arrived at Albany (in 
New-York) on the 25th of June, 1756, immediately took command of the 
forces there assembled, and much was anticipated. It had previously 
been determined in a council of war, held at New- York, " to attack the 
fort at Niagara ; to reduce Ticonderoga and Crown-Point ; to besiege 
Fort Du Quesne, and to detach a body of troops, by the river Ken- 
nebec, to alarm the capital of Canada ;" all of them important objects, 
and essentially necessary to preserve an extensive frontier from the toma- 
hawk and seal ping-knife. General Abercrombie, however, thought proper 
to postpone their execution till the arrival of Lord Loudon, who was daily 
expected. The reason for his lordship's detention is unexplained. Smol- 
let intimates, that it was owing " to the neglect and procrastination of an 
English ministry." Whether it was so or not, is immaterial. The season 
was too far advansed for military operations ; " many fair opportunities 
had been lost," and the whole armament was rendered useless for a year. 
In the meantime the French, with inferior force, succeeded in all they 
attempted. The garrison at Oswego, in New- York, consisting of one 
thousand four hundred men, commanded by Colonel Mercer, (who was 
killed,) surrendered to the Marquis de Montcalm, a' French officer of 
great vigilance and enterprise, on condition that " they should be exempted 


from plunder, conducted to Montreal, and treated with humanity. After 
the surrender, some of the British officers were insulted by the savages, 
who robbed them of their clothes and baggage — massacred several men 
as they stood defenceless on the parade — assassinated Lieutenant De La 
Court, as he lay wounded in his tent, and barbarously scalped all the 
sick in the hospital ; and to conclude the scene, Montcalm, in direct vio- 
lation of the articles, as well as in contempt of common humanity, deliv- 
ered up about twenty of the garrison to be put to death by the most 
excruciating tortures." 

Those who countenance the perpetration of cruelties " at which human 
nature shudders with horror," indignantly exclaims the British historian 
who describes the scene above related, '•' ought to be branded as infamous 
to all posterity :" — a sentiment to which we shall have occasion hei'eafter 
to call the attention of our readers, in reviewing the conduct of British 
officers during the revolutionary war, as well as during that which has 
occurred in our own days, and in reviewing transactions which have taken 
place in sight of the very spot where we are now sitting. 

While the British army was laying thus idle at Albany, Indian massa- 
cres of defenceless men, women and children, without distinction of age, 
sex, or condition, were almost daily occurring, and serious apprehensions 
in relation to the future destiny of the British colonies in North America, 
filled the whole nation with alarm. 

The Earl of Loudon, finding the season (1756,) too far advanced to 
admit of any enterprise of note against the enemy, exerted himself in 
making preparations for an early campaign in the ensuing spring. With 
this view. Fort Edward and Fort William Henry, in New- York, were 
put in a proper posture of defence, and secured with numerous and well- 
appointed garrisons. 

Although much was expected in 17.57, '•' every circumstance turned 
out contrary to expectation." The attack upon Crown-Point, which had 
long been meditated, was abandoned, and an expedition against Louisburorh 
substituted in its place. Lord Loudon, having collected an army v/hich 
raised great expectations, consisting of twelve thousand men, and a large 
naval force, in July proceeded thither. On his arrival, he found " the 
face of affairs altered :" — the garrison was much sti'onger and better sup- 
plied than he anticipated. He thereupon concluded it was best " to post- 
pone an attack for the season," or, as the council expressed it, " to some 
more convenient opportunity." 

Lord Loudon's departure from New-York with all the forces he was 
able to collect, provincials as well as others, afforded the active and '•- 
lant Montcalm an opportunity of profiting by his former si'- ,^gi. 

accordingly availed himself of this opportunity. - ' ^cesses. He 

large force of French and Indians, amo- ^^^ adva'nced with a 

men, and laid siege to Fort Willis"- ' . - ' i , f^r. t>inns!and 

T r *-c .• .u -'-^nting; to nearly ten thousana 

Its fortifications were t^- ..,n ffp- ^"'•'"o •' 

garrison of *' "^"- in a -^ry. ^^ 

inree thousand m- good condition- 

' and covered by 


an army of four thousand more at no great distance, under the command 
of General Webb. After a siege of six days, the garrison surrendered. 
The same promises were made as in the case of Fort Oswego, and as 
perfidiously broken. The savages in the French interest, either paid 
no regard to the capitulation, or were permitted from views of policy, 
"to act the most treacherous, inhuman, and insidious part." They fell 
upon the British troops as they marched out, and despoiled them of their 
few remaining effects ; dragged the Indians in the English service out; 
of the ranks, and assassinated them with circumstances of unheard of 

" Thus," says Smollet, " ended the third campaign, where, with an 
evident superiority over the enemy — an army of twenty thousand regular 
troops, a great number of provincial forces, and a prodigious naval 
power; not less than twenty ships of the line — we abandoned our allies,, 
exposed our people, suffered them to be cruelly massacred in sight of 
our troops, and relinquished a large and valuable tract of country,^- 
the shame and disgrace of the British name." 

A new scene, however, was about to open. The defeat of Braddock ; 
the capture of Oswego and the other forts in America ; the delay of 
armaments ; the neglect of opportunities ; ineffectual cruises ; absurd 
disposition of fleets and squadrons ; disgraces in the Mediterranean, and 
the loss of Minorca, began at last to be regarded by the public as the 
misfortunes of state, originating from the crude designs of a weak, vacil- 
lating, and dispirited ministry. 

Previous to this, a young cornet of dragoons, from the little town of 
Boconnock, in Cornwall, by his wonderful talents, had filled the metropo- 
lis of England with his fame. He now arose amid surrounding gloom, 
and " with one hand smote the Bourbons, and in the other, wielded the 
democracy of England ;" infused, as if by magic, new life into her 
councils ; and in the space of a few years stripped France of her supe- 
riority — annihilated her navy, reduced her colonies to subjection, and 
compelled her to acknowledge, in the face of Europe, herself defeated in 
every part of the globe. ' 'Tis needless, perhaps, to inform the reader 
that we allude to the elder Pitt, afterward Earl of Chatham. 

He was the son of Robert Pitt, of Boconnock, and was born at Corft- 
wall, in 1708 ; was educated afterward at Eton and Oxford, and oh 
quitting the university, became a cornet in the Blues. In 1735, he rep- 
resented the borough of Old Sarum, in the House of Commons, where he 

■— ^oted universal attention. By expressing himself with more freedom 
rfy^ ~ a young man and an officer, in the opinion of Sir Robert 

than h a ' *^® displeasure of the " great minister," whose in- 

-iir„i 1 , . and was deprived of his commission. He 

Walpole, he mcurreo v.. . .^ . , ,. , , 

fluence was then paramount, ^- patriotism, a legacy of ten thousand 

afterward received, on account of ^" r ^ '^"^ at a later penod, a con- 
pounds from the Duchess of Ma/^^rl^'f,;. ^d His 
'- -*-»e from Sir William t^ <. never, been aurpasi^°- "»s 

slderao.e ..^^- ^^^ .e\aom, perbap. 

In eloquence, he 


elegance and dignity of manners — his fine voice, and masterly gesticu- 
lation, (in which even Garrick allowed him to be his superior,) prepos- 
sessed every one in his favor ; while the perspicuity and power of his 
arguments produced conviction in almost every mind. Integrity, disin- 
terestedness and patriotism, indefatigable industry, promptitude and saga- 
city, were in him united. His speeches were always pertinent, uniformly 
bold, frequently sublime ; and his influence over those he addressed was, 
at times, irresistible. 

In 1746, he became a member of the Privy Council, and in 1755, was 
removed. In 1756, he was again received into the administration, to- 
gether with his friend, Mr. Legg, and the former was appointed secretary 
of state. The new ingredients, however, could not, or would not mix 
with the old leaven ; and the administration became (as was said,) an 
emblem of Nebuchadnezzar's image in his dream. " Its leg was of iron, 
and its foot was of clay." The old Junto, finding their new associates 
wliolly unfit for. their purposes, made such representations to the king, 
(George JI.) that on the ftth of April, 1757, Mr. Pitt was again dis- 

It frequently happens, that what is intended as a disgrace has a con- 
trary tendency ; it sometimes destroys, and it sometimes elevates and en- 
nobles its object. 

Mr. Pitt, by his majesty's command, having given up the seals, the 
whole country rose up as one man to vindicate his fame. Every mouth 
was opened in his praise ; a number of respectable cities and corpora- 
tions presented him with the freedom of their respective societies, inclosed 
in gold boxes of very curious workmanship ; and addresses, " dutifully 
and loyally expressed," almost without number, were poured into the 
royal ear, soliciting his restoration to employment, and alleging in bold, 
but respectful terms, that those who had reduced their country to the 
vexge of destruction, were not the persons to effect her redemption. 

What the people highly esteem, they in a manner idolize. The whole 
kingdom had caught fire at his removal ; and the power, the artifice, 
and cunning of a faction, could no longer support itself against the 
united voice of Great Britain. On the 29th of June, 1757, Mr. Pitt was 
reappointed secretary of state ; and other promotions were made, which 
afforded universal satisfaction. 

The accumulated losses of three campaigns were now to be retrieved, 
together with the credit of the British arms and councils. A mighty 
effort was requisite — -that effoxt was made — those losses were retrieved — 
and the credit of the British arms, and councils redeemed. 

A war upon the Continent was then raging, in which England was a 
party ; and the Duke of Cumberland had been driven from every post he 
had occupied in the electorate of Hanover. In order to draw a portion 
of the French array from thence to defend their own coasts, and to de- 
stroy their shipping, so as to prevent the transportation of additional troops 
to North America; a secret expedition to France was resolved upon, 



Europe beheld, with astonishment, the vast preparations that were ma- 
kinof ; and the public, big with expectation, but confident of success, won- 
dered where the bolt would descend. Several impediments were interposed 
to prevent its embarkation, and the secretary expressed uneasiness at its 
delay, repeatedly urging the different commanders to expedite their de- 

An order having been issued to the board of admiralty, directing a 
certain number of ships to be got ready for sea, by a given day, the 
secretary of state was politely waited upon by the secretary of the board, 
and informed that it was impossible to execute the order. "Tell my 
lords of the admiralty," said the secretary, writhing at the time under a 
fit of the gout, and rising as he spoke, (the sweat standing in great drops 
on his face,) " that they have to deal with a minister who tramples on 
impossibilities." 'Tis needless here to remark, that the ships were ready 
for sea, and sailed on the day appointed. 

On the 8th of September, 1757, a fleet, at the expense of a million ster- 
ling, was equipped and sailed for France. The little isle of Aix, with 
its garrison of six hundred men and thirty pieces of cannon, was immedi- 
ately taken, and its fortifications demolished. The French became 
alarmed ; a descent upon their coast since the days of the Edwards and 
the Henrys, had not been heard of before. The scene, therefore, was 
as unexpected as novel. Little, however, was effected. The object of 
the expedition, though in part attained, was unsatisfactory to the nation, 
and the squadron immediately thereafter sailed for America, thencefor- 
ward the theatre of important operations. 

The campaign of 1758 opened with an army of fifty thousand men, 
twenty-two thousand of whom were regular troops. The Earl of Lou- 
don, having returned to England, General Abercrombie succeeded him 
as commander-in-chief. The objects, however, of the campaign being 
different, separate commands were assigned to each. General Amherst, 
with an army of twelve thousand men, being joined by a naval force, 
commanded by Admiral Boscawen, succeeded by great efforts, in which 
he was aided by General Wolf, in the capture of Louisburgh. St. John's 
immediately afterward surrendered to Lieutenant Colonel Rollo ; Fort 
Frontenac was taken by Colonel Bradstreet ; and Fort Du Quesne aban- 
doned by the French, and taken possession of by General Forbes, who 
gave it the name of Fort Pitt, after the great minister, who with singular 
felicity then governed the nation. 

General Abercrombie, at the head of seven thousand regular troops, 
and ten thousand provincials, in July, 1758, made an attack upon Ticon- 
deroga and was repulsed. Having failed, the attack, as usual in such 
cases, was attributed to rashness, and his retreat considered pusillani- 
mous. With this exception, the British arms were everywhere trium- 
phant, and the whole campaign one continued series of victories. 

The expedition against Fort Du Quesne would, in all probability, have 
been abortive, had not other victories paved the way for its success. 


General Forbes himself was entitled to but little credit, other than what 
accident itself conferred. 

Late in July he was at Carlisle, in Pennsylvania, sick, and was yet 
undetermined whether to take the Braddock road, which would enable 
him, as Colonel Washington observed, to reach Pittsburgh in thirty-four 
days, or to open a new rout from Raystown thither. Having settled on the 
latter, by the advice of Colonel Boquet, and against the opinion of Colonel 
Washington, the army commenced its march. Colonel Washington, having 
commanded on the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and being 
more thoroughly acquainted with the several routes than a perfect stran- 
ger, thought he had a right to speak on this occasion, and thus wrote to 
the aid of General Forbes : 

" If Colonel Boquet succeeds in this point with the general, all is lost — 
our enterprise is ruined — and we shall be stopped at the Laurel Hill 
this winter." 

In September, Colonel Washington again wrote : " We are still encamped 
here, very sickly, and dispirited at the prospect before us : that appear- 
ance of glory which we once had in view — that hope — that laudable am- 
bition of serving our country, and meriting its applause, are no more." 
" Nothing now but a miracle can bring this campaign to a happy issue." 
And again : " We have certain intelligence, that the French strength at 
Fort Du Quesne did not exceed eight hundred men the 13th ultimo, in- 
cluding about three or four hundred Indians. See how our time has 
been misspent. Behold how the golden opportunity is lost, perhaps never 
to be regained. How is it to be accounted for ? Can General Foi'bes have 
orders for this ? Impossible ! Will then our injured country pass by 
such abuses ? I hope not. Rather let a full representation of the matter 
go to his majesty. Let him know how grossly his glory and interests, 
and the public money, have been prostituted." 

On the 21st of September, Major Grant, with a select corps of eight 
hundred men, was sent forward to reconnoitre the country about Fort Du 
Quesne. This detachment was defeated, with the loss of two hundred 
and seventy-three killed and forty-two wounded ; and Major Grant, its 
commanding officer, and Major Lewis, were taken prisoners. 

On the 8th of October, it was determined that the main body should 
advance. They did so, and on the 5th of November, " through a road 
indescribably bad," reached the camp at Loyal Hanna, where a comicii 
of war determined " that it was unadvisable to proceed further this cam- 
paign." This was the very spot where Colonel Washington had predicted, 
in July, the expedition would terminate. 

Fortunately, however, some prisoners had been taken, from whom in- 
formation was received, that the fort was in great distress for provisions ; 
that its garrison was weak ; that no aid had been received from Canada, 
and that the Indians had mostly deserted. These encouraging circum- 
stances altered their decision, and the general resolved to proceed. 

Colonel Washington led the advance, and with immense labor opened a 


way for the main body. The troops moved on with" sloWand pain^l 
steps, until they reached Fort Du Quesne, of which, on the 25lh of No- 
vember, they took peaceable possession. 

The naval power of Britain had intercepted their reinforcements. The 
capture of Fort Frontenac had prevented aid from thence, and the pres- 
sure upon Canada had cut off their supplies. Fort Du Quesne surren- 
dered therefore without a struggle ; and its garrison, having set it on fire', 
proceeded in boats down the river. (See note 1.) 

The " miracle" of which Colonel Washington had spoken in July, was 
now verified ; and General Forbes became an important personage by 

Previous to 1759, a treaty, through the influence of Sir William John- 
son, had been negotiated with several Indian tribes, in which he was ma- 
terially aided by the victories of the preceding year. This treaty was 
concluded at Easton in the State of Pennsylvania, on the 26th of October, 
1758. In speaking of this treaty, Smollet the historian, after observing 
that the Indian deputies were gratified with valuable presents, and among 
other things " with a few suits of lace clothes for their chieftains," says, 
" to crown their happiness, the stores of rum were opened. They drank 
themselves into a state of brutal intoxication, and next day returned in 
peace to their respective places of habitation." 

The influence of the French had now in a measure ceased. The 
charm which had bound the Jesuit and the savage in unity, was now dis- 
solved ; and the entire conquest of Canada, hitherto projected, apparently 
at hand. 

Three expeditions for that purpose were resolved upon : one against 
Niagara — one against TJiconderoga and Crown Point — and the other 
against Quebec. 

The first was intrusted to General Prideaux, who was killed by the 
bursting of a cohorn, soon after the garrison was invested. He was suc- 
ceeded by Sir William Johnson, who, having defeated a reinforcement of 
twelve hundred French and Indians sent thither from Detroit, Venango, 
and Presque Isle, effected his object ; and six hundred and seven disci- 
plined soldiers of France marched out of Niagara with the honors of war 
on the 24th of July, 1759, and were embarked in vessels upon Lake On- 
tario for New- York. 

General Amherst, in the meantime, marched with an army of twelve 
thousand men, including provincials, against Ticonderoga and Crown Point, 
both of which were abandoned by the French at his approach ; the former 
on the 27th of July, and the latter on the 4th of August. General Amherst 
immediately thereafter fitted out a squadron, and sailed down the lake, 
(Champlain,) in order to overtake his retreating foe, and if possible, assist 
General Wolf in the reduction of Quebec. The season however for action 
had mostly elapsed ; the winds were adverse ; a storm came on, and he 
was compelled to abandon the undertaking. Returning, therefore, to 
Crown Point on the 21st of October, having first secured to the British 


awns entire ascendency upon l^e lake, he disposed of his troops in win- 
ter quarters. 

During the summer, no intelligence had been received from General 
Wolf, except a few hints, in a letter intercepted from the Marquis de 
Montcalm. From these General Amherst was given to understand, that 
the British had landed near Quebec — ^that General Wolf had honored 
him (Montcalm) with several notes — *' sometimes in a soothing, and some- 
times in a threatening strain" — that he (Montcalm) intended to give him 
battle ; and that a few days would determine the fate of Quebec, and the 
French power in North America. 

The reduction of Niagara, Ticonderoga, and Crown-Point, being less 
important than that of Quebec, the inquiry has often been made — Why a 
force so inadequate to its reduction, should have been sent against the 
latter ? and how did that force succeed against such wonderful odds ? 

The first question we admit is of difficult solution — an answer to the 
latter will be found, in the singular adventures and surprising events 
which there occurred, exhibiting a spirit of enterprise, and displaying 
scenes of horror, in all the varieties of desolation, before unknown, espe- 
cially in this western hemisphere. 

Early in February, 1759, a considerable squadron sailed from Eng- 
land for Cape Breton, under the command of Admirals Saunders and 
Holmes, officers of great experience and extraordinary merit ; and on the 
21st of April came in sight of Louisburgh. The harbor being choked 
with ice, they bore away for Halifax in Nova Scotia. Admiral Saunders 
soon afterward returned to Louisburgh, and taking on board his fleet a 
detachment of eight thousand troops, proceeded from thence up the St. 
Lawrence. The army destined for Quebec was commanded by Major 
General Wolf, and Brigadiers Moncton, Townsend, and Murray, were 
among his subalterns. 

The first was born a soldier — the son of Major General Wolf, a veteran 
officer of acknowledged capacity. During the siege of Louisburgh, in 
the preceding campaign, the young and gallant Wolf had exhibited uncom- 
mon genius, and gathered laurels in every field. He was, therefore, 
though still young, a veteran in experience. The other three resembled 
each other, not only in age, but capacity and station. They were the sons 
of noblemen, were bred in affluence, and heirs each to a peerage. They 
had studied the military art with uncommon eagerness, and impelled by 
a desire for glory, had burst the bands of domestic felicity, and bidding 
adieu to friends, to country and home, now sought the favor of their 
prince, and the applause of their country, by exposing their ease, their 
health, and everything dear, to the perils of a disagreeable voyage, the 
rigors of an inhospitable climate, and the hazards of an expedition fraught 
with danger. 

The fleet destined for Canada, sailed up the river without opposition ; 
and the army intended for its conquest, early in June was quietly and 
peaceably disembarked, in two diviaknvs, upon the Isle of Orleans, a 
little below Quebec. 


General Wolf there issued a manifesto to the French inhabitants of 
Canada, in which he offered them " the sweets of peace amid the horrors 
of war." He exhorted them to remain neutral ; and promised them, in. 
that event, security in their pei'sons, their property, and their possessions. 
He promised them also in the name of his sovereign, the free enjoyment 
of their religion. The declaration, however, produced no sensible 

The Encrlish had for some time been regarded by the Canadians, as the 
most savage enemies upon earth. The French colonists prepared, there- 
fore, to abandon their dwellings, and expose themselves and families to 
certain ruin, rather than confide in English protection ; and joining 
the scalping parties of Indians, they skulked among the woods, fell 
upon the English stragglers by surprise, and butchered several without 

General Wolf, like other brave men, revolted against wanton and per- 
fidious cruelty, and immediately wrote to the French commandant, and 
represented in glowing colors, that such enormities were against the rules 
of civilized warfare — dishonorable to France, and disgraceful to human 
nature — and desired that the French colonists and the savages Txiight be 
restrained. To this Montcalm, the enterprising commander of Quebec, 
made no reply. With an army superior in number to the invaders, he 
had resolved to depend on the natural strength of the country, as well 
as upon his own resources ; and aware of the approaching storm, had for- 
tified Quebec with consummate skill, secured it with a numerous garrison, 
and supplied it plentifully v/ith provisions. He had reinforced, too, his 
army with five additional battalions ; had disciplined all the Canadians 
in the neighborhood, and summoned a body of Indians to his aid. 

To undertake the siege under such circumstances, and against such 
fearful odds, was a departure, not only from the established maxims of 
war, but against the dictates of common sense and ordinary prudence. 

The British commander was acquainted with all the difficulties of his 
position, but knew that while the English squadron maintained its station 
in the river, he had a place of refuge, in case of emergency. He was 
also in hopes of being joined by General Amherst ; and above all, was 
stimulated by an unconquerable thirst for glory, Avhich no dangers, how- 
ever desperate, could allay. 

Understanding that a body of French troops was posted with cannon 
at Point Levi, on the south side of the river, opposite to Quebec, he dis- 
patched Brigadier Moncton with four battalions, in the night, to dislodge 
them. The attack was successful. Colonel Carlton, at the same time, 
with another detachment took possession of a point on the west end of the 
Isle of Orleans, to anticipate the French— both of which were immedi- 
ately fortified. Point Levi, being situated within cannon-shot of the city, 
a battery was commenced upon its summit ; and Montcalm, foresee- 
ing its probable effects, detached a body of one thousand six hundred 
men immediately across the river, to attack and destroy the works there 


commenced before they were completed. The detachment, however, fell 
into disorder, and fired upon each other ; and being attacked by a British 
force, fled in confusion. The battery being at length completed, the 
English commenced firing upon the city, and in a short time the upper 
town was considerably damaged, and the lower reduced to a heap of 

The English fleet, during this period, was exposed to imminent danger. 
Soon after the army had disembarked a storm arose, and several trans- 
ports became disabled. Several of the small craft foundered, and sev- 
eral of the large ships lost their anchors. The French, seeing the 
confusion, at once prepared, and at midnight sent, fire-ships down from 
Quebec among the transports. The scheine, though well contrived, and 
admirably executed, was rendered abortive by the energy of the British 
admiral and the dexterity of his seamen. The latter resolutely boarded 
the fire-ships, towed them ashore, and left them to burn without injury 
or danger to the squadron. 

The works intended to secure the hospital and military stores, being 
now completed, and the British army having crossed the north channel in 
boats, encamped in triumph upon its shore — the rivers Montmorency 
and St. Charles alone dividing them from the city. The next morning a 
company of English rangers was attacked by the French and Indians, 
and totally defeated. Reinforced, however, from the main body, they 
renewed the attack, and repulsed the Indians in turn. The banks of the 
Montmorency were steep and covered with wood ; they were also so in- 
trenched on the opposite side, as to render an attack exceedingly hazard- 
ous. An attack, however, on the last day of July was made. The 
British crossed the stream at a ford below the falls — attacked the 
French, stormed their intrenchments, and after displaying the most signal 
courage, were compelled to retire with the loss of five hundred killed and 
wounded. The Indians massacred the living who had ceased to resist, 
and scalped the dead in sight of their companions. (See note 2.) 

A short time previous to the battle, some ships with troops on board, 
sailed up the river, and passed the city of Quebec without injury. 
General Wolf was among them, and carefully examined its banks near 
the city. He at once saw they were difficult of access, and that these 
difl[iculties were increased by the foresight and precaution of the French 

Soon after the battle, a little skirmish ensued, and some prisoners were 
taken. From these. General Wolf received intelligence, that Niagara 
had fallen, that Ticonderoga and Crown-Point had been abandoned, and 
that General Amherst was making preparations to follow up his victory. 

The disaster at the Falls of Montmorency, and the success of the con- 
querors of Niagara and Ticonderoga, made an impression on the sensitive 
mind of Wolf, which nothing but death or victory could eradicate. His 
spirit could not brook the most distant prospect of censure or disgrace. 
He knew the character of the English people : " Rashj impetuous, and 


capricious ; elevated to exultation by the least gleam of success ; de- 
jected even to despondency, by the most inconsiderable frown of adverse 
fortune ; sanguine even to childish hyperbole, in applauding those ser- 
vants who have prospered in iheir undertakings ; and clamorous even to 
persecution, against those who have miscarried in their endeavors, with- 
out an investigation of their merit, or the consideration of their circum- 

A sense of their peculiarities — a desire to retrieve the laurels which 
some, perhaps, thought he had lost at the Falls of Montmorency, and the 
despair of finding such an occasion, affected the frame of Wolf, naturally 
fragile, and disordered his constitution. Among those who shared his 
confidence, he was known frequently to sigh, sometimes heard to com- 
plain, and in transports of mortification, declare that he never would re- 
turn without success — never be exposed, as other unfortunate command- 
ers had been, to the censures and reproaches of an ignorant, ungrateful 
populace. This tumult of mind, added to the fatigues of body he had 
undergone, produced a fever which, for some time, totally disabled him. 

A council of war, in the meantime, was held, and it was determined 
the troops should be transported up the river, in order, if possible, to bring 
on a general engagement. An assault, it was then thought, could not be. 
hazarded with any prospect of success. 

In consequence of this resolution, the troops were reembarked at Point 
Levi, and afterward transported up the river ; and as no possibility ap- 
peared of annoying the enemy, the plan of operations was changed, and 
it was resolved, that the troops should descend the river in boats at mid- 
night, and land about a league above Cape Diamond ; that from thence 
they should ascend the heights of Abraham, which rise abruptly from the 
river, and take possession of the ground immediately in the rear of the 
town, where it was but slightly fortified. The difficulties attending the 
execution of this plan were so numerous and complicated, that nothing, 
short of desperation, could have led rational men to embrace it. The 
stream was rapid, the shore was shelving, the bank of the river was lined 
with sentinels ; the landing-place was so narrow as to be easily missed in 
the dark, and the ground was difficult to ascend, even in the daytime, when 
there was no opposition. The least intimation from a spy, or desertef ; 
any mistake in the time or place of embarkation, or any alarm given by 
a sentinel, would either of them have defeated the whole scheme, and 
proved fatal to the whole, or a considerable portion of the detachment. 

These objections did not escape the penetration of Wolf; still he adopt- 
ed the plan as his last resort, and though laboring under a fever which 
had exhausted his constitution, and reduced him to the extreme of weak- 
ness, he resolved on executing it in person. 

Monsieur de Bougainville, with fifteen hundred men, had previously 
been detached from Quebec to watch the motions of the English, and this 
circunnstance aided materially the designs of the latter. 

* SmoUet. 


The twelfth of September, 1759, having been fixed upon for its execu- 
tion, a little after midnight the first embarkation took place, under the 
command of Captain James Cook, the famous circumnavigator. The 
garrison of Quebec expected, during that night, a convoy of provisions 
down the river from the detachment above, commanded by Monsieur de 
Bougainville. The boats of the assailants fell down the stream with the 
tide, and without disorder, glided quietly along. Owing, however, to the 
rapidity of the current, and to the darkness of the night, the troops landed 
a little lower than they intended. They had no sooner disembarked, than 
the boats were sent back for the second detachment. A British ship of 
war was at that time lying at anchor near the shore, and two French de- 
serters being taken on board, as the English boats were drifted along, the 
deserters began to shout and make a noise as though it was a part of the 
expected convoy. Captain Smith, who commanded the British ship^ ig. 
norant of General Wolf's design, and believing the boats to be a part of 
the expected convoy, gave orders immediately to point his guns at the 
British troops, and nothing prevented their discharge (which would have 
alarmed the town and frustrated the whole scheme,) but the instant row- 
ing alongside of General Wolf himself, who, in an undertone, counter- 
manded the orders. Another extraordinary circumstance (for extraordi- 
nary circumstances always accompany genius,) aided this delusion. The 
French had posted sentinels along the shore, to challenge boats and give 
alarms. As the first English boat descended it was challenged. " Qui 
vit ?" said the sentinel. " La France," said an English captain, well ac- 
quainted with the language and customs of the French. " A quel regi- 
ment?" (To what regiment?) demanded the sentinel. " De la Reine," re- 
plied the captain. This the captain had learned, by accident, was the 
name of one of the regiments commanded by Bougainville. The senti- 
nel, taking it for granted that it was a part of the expected convoy, ex- 
claimed " passe," and all the boats passed without further interruption. 
The next sentinel, however, was a little more wary ; and in addition to 
the ordinary questions, asked, " Pourquoi est ce que vous ne parlez plus 
haut ?" (Why do n't you speak with an audible voice ?) To this interro- 
gation the captain, with admirable presence of mind, and in a soft tone of 
voice, replied, " Taire toil nous serons entendres." (Hush! we shall be 
overheard.) This appropriate answer at once silenced inquiry, and the 
troops were quietly disembarked. When they reached the foot of the 
precipice, and General Wolf saw the difficulty of its ascent, he observed 
to the officer who commanded the advance guard, in a familiar tone : « I 
don't believe there is any possibility of getting up, but you must do your 
endeavor." The narrow path that slanted up the hill had been broken 
up, and rendered impassable by cross-ditches and an intrenchment at the 
top, and the soldiers were obliged to leave the ordinary path, and pull 
themselves up by the roots of the trees that grew on either side. On ar- 
riving at the summit, they dislodged a sergeant's guard, which defended 
■the only accessible avenue to the heights above. The light-infantry and 


Highlanders followed as soon as possible, and the whole army were at 
once drawn up in line, and the banners of England for the first time wa- 
ved on the plains of Abraham. 

Montcalm, having learned that the English had gained the heights, 
which in a manner commanded the town in its most vulnerable part, re- 
solved immediately to give them battle. 

Having collected his whole force, he advanced early in the morning to 
the encounter. His right was composed of half the colonial troops, two 
battalions of disciplined soldiers, and a body of Canadians and savages; 
his centre consisted of two other regular battalions, and his left of one 
battalion and the residue of the colonial troops. He also posted fifteen 
hundred of his best marksmen in the bushes and corn-fields, to keep up an 
irregular, galling fire upon the English, with directions to single out their 

General Wolf, seeing the enemy cross the river St. Charles, and know, 
ing that an action was unavoidable, began immediately to form his line. 
It consisted of six battalions and the Louisburg grenadiers. The right 
was commanded by General Moncton, the left by General Murray, and 
Colonel Howe's light infantry were posted in the rear. 

The French commandant having indicated an intention, as he advan- 
ced, to outflank the English on the left. General Townsend, with the regi- 
ment of Amherst was sent thither, and formed instantly so as to present a 
double front to the enemy. The English reserve, consisting of one regi- 
ment of infantry, was drawn up in eight subdivisions, with large spaces 

Both armies were nearly destitute of artillery ; the French having but 
two small pieces, and the English but a single gun, which a few seamen, 
with great difficulty, had drawn up from the landing. 

The two opposing armies, on the 13th day of September, 1759, at nine 
o'clock in the morning, were thus put in battle-array, and a territory, 
equal in extent to one half of Europe, was dependent on its issue. Gen- 
eral Wolf took his position on the right of the British troops, at the head 
of Bragg's regiment and the Louisburg grenadiers. Lieutenant-General, 
the Marquis De Montcalm, on the left of the French division. The latter 
advanced to the charge with great vivacity, and in excellent order ; their 
fire, however, was irregular and ineffectual. The British reserved theirs 
until the French had approached to within about forty yards of their 
front. The discharge was then tremendous, and continued with such 
deliberation and spirit, as to produce at once considerable impression. 
General Wolf being on the right, where the action was hottest, and stand- 
ing conspicuous in front of the line, was aimed at by several marksmen, 
and early in the action, received a wound in his wrist. Wrapping, how- 
ever, his handkerchief around it, he continued giving his orders as though 
nothing had happened, and without discovering the slightest emotion. 
The British fire having at length made a deep impression upon the en- 
emy's line, and the latter beginning to recoil, General Wolf advance<J 


at the head of the grenadiers, with fixed bayonets, and just as the French 
were about to give way, received a musket ball in his breast, and fell 
" in the arms of victory." 

Every regiment now exerted itself, as though the honor and safety of 
England and its own, were dependent on the issue. The right pressed 
on with their bayonets ; General Murray advanced with the troops under 
his command, and broke the centre ; and the Highlanders, drawing their 
broadswords, drove the French with great slaughter before them, across 
the river St. Charles, and into the city. 

General Wolf, on receiving his mortal wound, (being unable to stand,) 
withdrew a short distance from the scene, and leaning on the shoulder of 
a lieutenant who sat down for that purpose, seemed, notwithstanding his 
injury, absorbed by the battle. A messenger at that moment arriving, 
he eagerly asked, "How are our troops?" And being told that "the 
enemy were visibly broken," he wished to be lifted up, that he might 
once more view the field. His eyes were glazed in death — his vis- 
ion nearly extinguished. The attendants wishing, however, to obey his 
last behests, were about to lift him up, when an officer standing by, ex- 
claimed : "They fly !— they fly!" "Who?" said the expiring Wolf. 
" The French !" answered the lieutenant. " Then," said the gallant 
hero, " I die happy !" and expired. 

The ball that pierced his bosom had caused a thrill of pleasure, as the 
immortal spirit, disembodied from its earthly tenement, rose on the wings 
of battle to meet its God. 

General Wolf being slain, and General Moncton dangerously wounded, 
the command devolved on General Townsend, who hastened to the centre, 
and finding the troops disordered in the pursuit, formed them again with 
all possible expedition. This was scarcely effected, before M. De Bou- 
gainville, with two thousand fresh troops, assailed him from the rear. 
A detachment of two battalions, with two pieces of artillery, being sent 
against the latter, he retreated to the woods and swamps, and thus 
eluded pursuit. The victory was now complete ; five hundred French 
had been slain in battle, and a thousand were now prisoners to the Eng- 
lish, including a number of officers. The French general, M. De Mont- 
calm, was mortally wounded, and conveyed to Quebec, where he died 
on the next day, after having written a letter to General Townsend, re- 
commending the French prisoners to his humanity. His second in com- 
mand was wounded also, and left on the field, from whence he was 
conveyed to the English fleet, and died on the following day. On the 
part of the victors, but fifty were killed, including nine oflacers, and about 
five hundred wounded. Preparations were at once made for investing 
the upper and lower towns, by the fleet and army. Before, however, 
any battery was finished, the town capitulated, and the French power in 
North America was effectually broken. 

One or two attempts were afterward made by the French, to regain 
possession of the city. They proved, however, abortive ; and the Eng- 


lish banners from tliat time forward till now, hav« waved on the castle of 
St. Louis, SHperseding those of France, after one. hundred and fifty years 

After the battle, and defeat ^t the Falls of Montmorency, General 
Wolf had dispatched an officer to England with a detail of that disaster, 
written "with great accuracy and elegance, in which he observed: "We 
have almost the whole force of Canada to oppose. In such a choice of 
difficulties, I am myself at a loss how to determine. The affairs of Great 
Britain, I know, require the most vigorous measures ; but the courage of 
a handful of brave men should be exerted only where there is some hope 
of a favorable event." 

Although the public acquiesced in the conduct of General Wolf, they 
W€re exceedingly mortified at the result, as he seemed to despair of 
being able to strike any other stroke of importance for the accomplish- 
ment of their hopes, which had aspired to nothing less than the conquest 
of Canada. Their first transports of chagrin, however, had scarcely sub- 
sided, when an account of the victory and surrender of Quebec arrived. 
The fact was immediately communicated to the public in a gazette ex- 
traoi-dinary. The public joy rose in proportion to their former des- 
pondence — all was rapture and riot, triumph and exultation. 

The all-accomplished hero, who had lost his life in the contest, was 
exalted to a ridiculous degree of hyperbole. " A day of solemn thanks- 
giving was appointed by proclamation, throughout all the dominions of 
Great Britain." The city of London, the universities, and many other 
corporations, presented congratulatory addresses to the king ; and the 
secretary of state, (Mr. Pitt,) at the opening of Parliament, expatiated on 
the success of the campaign — the transcendent merit of the deceased 
general, and the conduct and courage of the admirals, officers, and sol- 
diers, who had assisted in its capture. 

The House of Commons unanimously resolved to present an address to 
the king, desiring the erection of a monument to the memory of General 
Wolf, in Westminster Abbey. A beautiful monument was accordingly 
erected. (See note 3.) 

The whole of Canada fell with Quebec, and General Townsend, leavirig 
a garrison of five thousand effective men in the latter, commanded by 
Brigadier Murray, victualled from the fleet, embarked for England. 

In succeeding, however, to the power, it was discovered at an early 
day, that the English had not succeeded to the influence of the French 
over the aborigines. There is something in the character of a French- 
man, which adapts him in a peculiar manner to the habits and feelings of 
the savage — something, which the English never learned or never prac- 
ticed. " When the French came hither," said a Chippeway chief once 
in council, "they came and kissed us — they called us children, and we 
found them fathers: we lived like children in the same lodge." It was 
never so in regard to the English; when the latter, therefore, obtained 
possession of the country after the surrender of Quebec, a spirit of dis- 



satisfaction became visible among the numerous savage tribes that resided 
in the west. This dissatisfaction led afterward to the formation of a plan, 
conceived with great boldness and executed with wonderful address, for 
exterminating the English altogether. 

There lived at that time near Detroit, an Ottowa chief by the name of 
Porttiac ; one of those high and heroic men, who stamp their own char, 
acter upon their country and the age. Major Rogers, who commanded 
the first British force which arrived and took possession of Detroit, in 
speaking of Pontiac says : " He ptits on an air of majesty and princely 
grandeur, and is greatly honored and revered by his subjects." " As I 
approached Detroit at the head of a military force," continues Major 
Rogers, " I was met by an embassy from him, who came to let me know 
'that Pontiac was at a small distance, coming peaceably; and that he 
desired me to halt, until he could see me with his own eyes.' His em- 
bassador had orders also to inform me, 'that he was Pontiac the king^ 
and lord of the country I was in.' When we afterward met, 'he de- 
manded my business into his country, and how I dared to enter it without 
his leave.' I informed him, that it was not with any design against the 
Indians that I came, but to remove the French out of the country, who 
had prevented a friendly intercourse between the English and the Indians. 
He thereupon told me, ^ that he stood in the path I travelled in till morn- 
ing;' and gave me a string of wampum, as much as to say, 'You need 
not march further without my leave.' When he departed for the night, 
he inquired if ' I wanted anything that his country afforded ; and if I did, 
he would send his warriors to fetch it.' I assured him, that any provis- 
ions they brought should be paid for; and the next day we were supplied 
with parched corn and other necessaries. At our second meeting, we 
smoked the calumet together, and he assured me he had made peace 
with me and my detachment, and that I might pass through his country 
unmolested, and relieve the French garrison; that he would protect me 
and my party ; and as an earnest of his friendship, he sent one hundred 
warriors to protect and assist us in driving one hundred fat cattle we had 
brought from Pittsburgh for the use of the army. He sent also to several 
Indian towns, to inform thenn that I had his consent to enter the country. 
He attended me constantly till I arrived at Detroit, and was the means of 
preserving the detachment from the fury of the Indians, who had assem- 
bled at the mouth of the strait to cut us off." Notwithstanding the 
friendly relations apparently subsisting between Pontiac and Major Rog- 
ers, the former, it seems, became afterward dissatisfied. The causes of 
that dissatisfaction are yet unknown. That he was wholly separated 
from the British interest, is unfortunately too true; and that he afterward 
connected the western tribes into a confederacy, to inflict the most signal 
vengeance on his oppressors, is too apparent to require elucidation. 

Pontiac reasoned as well as felt, like Philip of Pokanoket before, and 
Tecumseh afterward ; he apprehended danger to his dominions, and to 
the Indian interests at large, from the English. Danger from their supe- 



riority in arms, their ambition, and their eagerness to possess every military 
post on the Continent. Pontiac saw, or thought he saw, a want of cordi- 
ality among the English toward the Indians. The French had lived 
with them — had sent them necessaries — had invited them to their coun- 
cils — had made them presents — had talked and traded with them, and 
manifested an interest in their affairs. On the other hand, the English, 
to use Pontiac's own phrase, " neglected all those circumstances, which 
made the neighborhood of the French agreeable, and which might have 
made their own at least tolerable. The conduct of the French never 
gave rise to suspicion ; the conduct of the English never gave rest to it.". 

Pontiac looked into futurity, far enough to foi*esee the consequences to 
his race, which would, in all human probability, accompany the English 
usurpations; and his affection for the French, which does him honor, 
predisposed him to believe that the English had done his old friends and 
companions, the French, great injustice. It is possible that the latter 
may have convinced him, that the English had done injustice to Pontiac 
himself. That they "had treated him with neglect," is certain. He 
resolved, therefore, "to shut up the way;" and began first to make 
speeches, and afterward to dream dreams. The wild and reckless mul- 
titude heard with eagerness the story of their wrongs, as it fell from his 
lips, and his offers of revenge ; and a plan of operations was finally con- 
certed, to secure their cooperation along the whole length of the English 
frontier, exceeding considerably a thousand miles. 

One of Pontiac's speeches, being sorhewhat remarkable, we insert a 
portion of it here : 

" Englislinien. It is to you that I speak — and I demand your attention. Englishmen. 
You know that the French king is our father. He promised to be such, and we, in return, 
promised to be his children — this promise we have kept. 

" EngUshmen. It is you that have made war with this, our father. You are his 
enemy — how then could you have the boldness to venture among us, his children ? You 
know that his enemies are ours ! 

" Englishmen. We are informed that our father, the king of France, is old and infinn ; 
and that, being fatigued with making war upon your nation — he is fallen asleep. During 
his sleep you have taken advantage of him, and possessed yourselves of Canada. But his 
nap is almost at an end — I think I hear him already stirring, and inquiring for his children 
the Indians — and when he does awake, what must become of you ? He will destroy you 
utterly !" 

We have already remarked, that Pontiac called to his aid the preva- 
lent superstitions of the savages, and "dreamed dreams." In an inter- 
view between the Great Spirit and his chosen minister, the Indians were 
directed to abstain from " ardent spirits, and to cast from them the manu- 
factures of the white men." "Why," said the Great Spirit, "do you 
suffer these dogs in red clothing to enter your country, and take the land 
I give you ? Drive them from it ! and when you are in distress I will 
help you." 

Like other emperors and kings on the eve of war, Pontiac " began to 
make money." Major Rogers, (in his journal above referred to, pub- 


lished at London, in 1765,) speaking of Pontiac's money, says : "He 
appointed a commissary, and began to make money, or bills of credit, 
which he hath since punctually redeemed. His money was the figure of 
what he wanted to exchange for it, drawn upon bark, and the shape of 
an otter, (his arms,) drawn under it. Pontiac's ' bills of credit,' were 
the first money issued in Micliigan, and however strange it may appear," 
says Major Rogers, " they wei-e punctually redeemed." It would afford 
us great pleasure to say the same, if we could with equal truth, of cer- 
/tain bills issued since, with a '■' wild cat," instead of an otter, upon them. 
Pontiac's scheme was nothing less, thaw a sudden and cotemporaneous 
attack upon all the British posts upon Lakes Erie, H:uron, and Michigan, 
including also the forts at Niagara, Fresque Isle, Le Boeuf, Venango and 
Pittsburgh. His plan was to carry them all by treachery, and to massa- 
cre their garrisons. He next intended to take possession of the country, 
and to oppose the introduction of any British force into his dominions. 
He calculated, also, that success would give confidence to the western 
tribes, and unite Aem all into one grand confederacy. 

His preparations being at length completed, the Indians, in the month 
of Mav, 1763, commenced a simultaneous attack upon each of the twelve 
British posts between Green Bay and Pittsburgh, nine of which were 
immediately captured. 

; ■ His measures had been taken with such secrecy, that the storm burst 
-upon each garrison before the English had time to prepare for it, and 
before they had even learned the intentions of their enemy. A more 
signal proof of the hostile feelings of the Indians, and of the influence 
exercised by Pontiac over them, can nowhere be found. A frontier ex- 
ceeding a thousand miles in extent, secured by fortified posts, in a time 
of peace was simultaneously attacked, and that, too, without the slightest 
suspicion oil the part of the British that an attempt of that kind was even 

The circumstances attending the surprise of Mackinaw are somewhat 
extraordinary. The fort was then upon the main land; the Ottowas, to 
whom the assault was committed, prepared for a great game of ball, to 
which the British officers were invited. While engaged in play, one of 
the parties inclined toward the fort, and the others pressed after them ; 
the ball was once or twice thrown over the pickets, and the Indians were 
suffered to enter and procure it. Almost all the garrison were present 
as spectators, and those upon duty were negligent and unprepared. 
Suddenly the ball was again thrown into the fort,, and all the Indians 
rushed after it. " The residue of the tale," says Governor Cass, " is 
soon told. The troops were butchered, and the fort destroyed." Niagara 
and Pittsburgh, being regular fortifications, were successfully defended ; 
and Detroit, regarded by the Indians as the most important, was assailed 
by Pontiac in person. , ' 

The garrison, at that time, consisted of a hundred and twenty-two men 
and officers ; there were also about forty traders and engagees residing 



in the fort; and Major Gladwyn, a few days before the attack, had super- 
seded Major Campbell in the command. 

On the 8th of May, 1763, Pontiac, with a number of warriors, presented 
himself at the gate, and requested an audience with its commanding 
officer. His plan was happily conceived, and but for its publicity, might 
have succeeded. It was this : Pontiac was to have nriet the British com- 
mander in council, and at a given signal, (which was to have been the 
presentation of a belt of wampum in a particular manner,) his attendants 
were to massacre all the British officers, open the gates, and admit a 
body of warriors, who were to be ready on the outside for entrance ; 
they were then to slaughter the whole garrison, demolish the fortress, and 
thus annihilate the English power. The Indians, previous to this in- 
tended assault, had sawed off their rifles, so that they could conceal them 
without difficulty under their blankets. Unfortunately, however, for 
Pontiac, Beaufait, a respectable French gentleman then living in De- 
troit, and he, were friends ; and Pontiac wished to save him. Meeting 
his friend at the Bloody Bridge, Pontiac threw aside >\is blanket, and ex- 
hibited the shortened rifle, intimating, at the same time, the project he 
had in view. Whether M. Beaufait disclosed Pontiac's scheme to Major 
Gladwyn, or whether it was made known by an Indian woman named 
Catharine, as pretended, we are yet uninformed. Apprehensions of seri- 
ous consequences to his friendly monitor, at all events, induced the parties 
at that time to conceal the fact, if any such intelligence was given. 
The whole plan, however, was disclosed; and fortunately for the gar- 
rison, it was believed. Preparations were therefore made for their 
reception; the fort was strengthened, the arms were examined, the am- 
munition arranged ; and every man in the fort, civil and military, was 
directed to be ready for instant and urgent service. The officers, during 
the whole preceding night, walked also upon the ramparts. In the 
meantime, everything was silent, except the songs and dances in the 
Indian camp, which alone broke upon the ear. Anticipating success, 
they spent the night as savages usually do, previous to any great enter- 
prise, in songs and revelry. 

In the morning, Pontiac and his warriors sung their war-song, danced 
their war-dance, and repaired to the fort ; they were admitted at once, 
and conducted to the council-house, where Major Gladwyn and his offi- 
cers were prepared to receive them. Pontiac, as he entered the gate 
and passed through the streets, observed an unusual movement among 
the troops. He saw that the garrison was under arms, that the guards 
were doubled, and that the officers were armed with swords and pistols ; 
and inquired of the British commander the cause of this unusual move- 
ment. He was told that it was always necessary to keep young men to 
their duty, lest they should be ignorant and idle. The council was then 
opened, and Pontiac proceeded to address Major Gladwyn. His speech 
was bold and menacing, his manner and gesticulations were vehement ; 
they became still more so, as he approached the critical moment, when 


he was about to present the belt to Major Gladwyn, and all was breath- 
less expectation. The drums suddenly rolled the charge, the guards 
levelled their pieces, and the officers drew their swords. Pontiac trem- 
bled. He had led his warriors frequently to victory, and triumphed in 
many a hard-fought battle : the unexpected and decisive proof that his 
treachery was discovered and prevented, now entirely disconcerted him. 
After pausing a moment, he presented the belt in the usual manner. 

Major Gladwyn thereupon approached the savage, and drawing aside 
his blanket, discovered the shortened rifle. After reproaching him for 
his treachery, he instantly ordered him to leave the fort. The Indians 
retired, and as they passed the gate, gave a yell and fired upon the gar- 
rison. They also murdered an aged Englishwoman and her two sons, 
and a discharged sergeant and his family, in the vicinity. They after- 
ward commenced an attack upon the fort, which lasted several days, 
and were finally repulsed, with but little loss or injury to the English or 
the Indians. 

Major Campbell, though superseded, still remained in the fort. ' He 
had commanded the garrison ever since the country had surrendered, and 
was known and esteemed by the Canadians and the Indians. Pontiac, 
through two French gentlemen in Detroit, with whom he was still in 
communication, expressed a desire to see Major Campbell, that they 
might smoke the calumet together ; and solemnly promised that he might 
go and come in perfect safety. Such was the anxiety of all to bring this 
irksome warfare to a close, that Major Campbell, (by the advice of some 
gentlemen who had visited Pontiac, and were deceived by his professions 
and promises,) together with Lieutenant McDougald, repaired to his 
camp. They were received at first with politeness ; but afterward, in 
violation of Pontiac's plighted faith, were forcibly detained. Pontiac 
/afterward offered Major Campbell his life for the surrender of the fort. 
" The melancholy fate of this self-devoted officer," says Governor Cass, 
" adds another to the many proofs, which an intercourse with the Indians 
has furnished, of the little confidence to be placed in savage promises 
during war." Lieutenant McDougald afterward fled, and reached the 
garrison at Detroit, in safety. Major Campbell's vision being imperfect, 
he declined the attempt, and was massacred by the nephew of an Ottawa 
chief, who was killed during one of the sorties from the fort. 

In justice, however, to Pontiac, we ought perhaps here to remark, 
that he was indignant at the murder of Major Campbell, and used every 
.exertion in his power to apprehend the murderer ; who had fled, appre- 
hensive of Pontiac's vengeance, and probably would have atoned by his 
death for the atrocious act, in case he had been arrested. 

On the 3rd of June, 1763, intelligence was received at Detroit, of 
peace between England and France. The subsequent events in the 
Pontiac war became, therefore, of but little importance. Pontiac soon 
relaxed in his efforts. General Bradhurst arrived with an army of three 
thousand men, and all the tribes in the vicinity of Detroit resorted thither. 



England and France being now at peace, the tomahawk was buried, and 
the war-whoop ceased to echo through our vales. 

Pontiac, either distrusting the professions of the English, or too much 
exasperated to live cordially with them, declined any intercourse with 
their troops, and took no part in the pending negotiations. He abandoned 
the country and repaired to Illinois. Here, owing to some cause which 
has not been explained, he was assassinated by a Peoria Indian. (See 
note 4.) Such was the respect inspired by his talents and services, that 
the Ottawas, Pottawatomies, and Chippeways, considered his death a 
public misfortune, and its atonement a sacred dut}^ They thereupon 
commenced a war upon the Peorias, in which that tribe, together with the 
Kaskaskias and Cahokies, were almost exterminated, and from which 
they never recovered. The memor}?- of tlie great Ottawa chief is yet 
held in reverence among his countrymen ; and Avhatever fate shall here- 
after await them, his name and deeds will live in their traditionary nar- 
ratives, increasing in interest as they increase in years.* 

Notwithstanding the cession of an immense territory by France to the 
British crown, no effort was made by the latter to promote its settlement. 
A system of conciliation toward the Indians was now adopted ; and in a 
few years that bitter animosity, which was the fruit of a century of hos- 
tilities, gradually gave way, and the Indians became attached to the 
English interest. 

By the treaty of peace signed at Paris, on the 10th of February, 1763, 
France renounced all pretensions to Nova Scotia, ceded to England the 
whole of Canada and its dependencies, and all that portion of Louisiana 
east of the Mississippi river, together with the French posts and settle- 
ments on the Ohio. Spain, having at the same time relinquished her 
claims to Florida — all that part of North America between Hudson's Bay 
on the north, and the Capes of Florida on the south, and between the 
Atlantic on the east, and the Mississippi on the west, became a part of 
the British empire. 

We need not remind our readers, that the State of Illinois was included 
in the above cession: and after the 10th of February, 1763, acknow- 
ledged the supremacy of England. 

* See Gov. Cass's historical discourse. 


A humorous anecdote is told of Gen. Forbes, while on the route, which serves to illus- 
trate the Indian character ; and taking into consideration the character of the general, it 
is really amusing. 

" While on the march, Gen. Forbes, on account of his illness, was carried in a close lit- 
ter ; and to this the officers went to receive their orders. Some hostile Indians having 
arrived in camp on an embassy, and observing that all commands emanated from this lit- 
ter, inquired the cause. The British officers, thinking the savages would despise their 
general, if told he was sick, were at first puzzled to give the inquirers an answer. After 
a moment's reflection, however, one of them, remarkable for his shrewdness; replied to the 


Indians, ' that in that litter was their general, who was so fierce and strong, that he felt it 
necessary to bind himself hand and foot, and lie still until he came into the enemy's country, 
lest he should do the embassadors, or even his own men, mischief.' The red men gave 
their usual grunt, and placed some miles of forest between themselves and this fierce chief- 
tain, as soon as possible." 


Li the attack and defence of the French forts on the banks of the Montmorency, a 
scene occurred, in the presence of both armies, which makes humanity shudder. 

In General Moncton's brigade, there was a British captain by the name of Ochterlony, 
by birth a Scotchman ; and an ensign, by the name of Peyton ; the latter was of Irish 
origin. They were of the same age, about thirty, and connected together by ties of 
mutual friendship. The fonner had fought a duel, before the battle of Montmorency, with 
a German officer, and received a dangerous wound. His friends, therefore, insisted that 
he should remain in the camp during the day. His spirit, however, revolted at the 
thought of a scratch, as he called his wound, received in a private rencontre, preventing 
him from doing duty when his country required his services. In leading up his men to the 
intrenchment, he was shot through the lungs, and fell ; recovering from the shock, he con- 
tinued to advance, until by loss of blood he was compelled to desist. Peyton, at the same 
time, was lamed by a shot, which shattered the small bone of his left leg. 

The British soldiers, in their retreat, with tears in their eyes, begged that Captain Och- 
terlony would allow them to carry him and their ensign off the field. Bigotted to a point 
of honor, he refused to quit the ground, but desired them to take care of his ensign. 
Peyton, with generous disdain, refused their oifers, declaring he would never leave his 
captain in such a situation. The soldiers thereupon retired, and the captain and ensign 
were in a short time the only survivors on the field. 

Captain Ochterlony sat down by his friend, and, as they expected nothing but immedi- 
ate death, they took leave of each other. They indulged, however, in their forlorn situa- 
tion, some lingering hope ; and, seeing a French officer with two Indians approaching, 
Captain Ochterlony started up, and accosting the officer in French, which he spoke per- 
fectly well, expressed his expectation that they would treat him and his companion as 
officers and gentlemen. The two Indians were apparently controlled by the Frenchman. 
The latter first snatched the laced hat from Peyton's head ; he proceeded next to rob the 
captain of his watch and money. The Indians regarded this as a signal for them to rob 
and pillage, also. One of them thereupon advancing, clubbed his firelock, and struck at 
Ochterlony from behind ; he missed however his head, and the blow fell upon his shoul- 
der. The other poured the contents of his musket into the captain's bosom ; on which he 
exclaimed : " Oh ! Peyton ! the villain has shot me." The barbarian then sprung upon 
him with the ferocity of a tiger, and with his scalping-knife stabbed him in the groin. 
The captain having no weapons, as none of the officers wore swords in the action, and 
being still alive, the three ruffians endeavored to strangle him with his own sash. As he 
was on his knees, struggling with surprising exertion, Peyton, having a double-barrelled 
gun in his hand, and seeing the distress of his friend, fired, and one of the Indians fell 
dead upon the spot ; the other, thinking Peyton an easy prey, advanced upon him, when 
the latter, taking aim, at about four yards distance, discharged his second barrel, apparent- 
ly to no effect. The savage fired in his turn, and wounded Peyton in his shoulder ; then, 
rushing upon him, thrust him through with his bayonet. As he was about to repeat the 
blow, Peyton parried it, and received a wound in the left hand. Seizing, at the same 
time, the Indian's musket, he pulled him forward, and drawing a dagger, plunged it into 
the barbarian's side. A struggle ensued, in which Peyton was uppennost ; and, repeating 
his strokes, he succeeded in killing his antagonist outright. An unaccountable curiosity 
now seized him, to know whether his fonner shot had taken effect ; and stripping a 
blanket from the tawny savage, then lying upon the ground, he perceived that the 
ball had passed through his breast. Having thus obtained a dear-bought victory, he 


started upon one leg, and saw his captain, about sixty yards distEint, standing by the 
enemy's breastwork, with a French soldier attending him. Peyton thereupon called 
aloud: " Captain Ochterlony, I am glad to see you at last under protection. Beware of 
that villain — ^he is more barbarous than a savage. God bless you, my dear captain. I see 
a party of Indians coming this way, and expect to be murdered immediately." A num- 
ber of these barbarians had been employed on the left, in scalping the dying and the 
dead, and about thirty were then in march for Peyton. Anticipating no mercy at their 
hands, he snatched up his musket, and notwithstanding his broken leg, ran about forty 
yards without halting. Unable to proceed farther, he loaded his piece, and presented it 
to the two foremost Indians, who stood aloof, waiting for their companions ; while the 
French, from their breastworks, kept up a continual fire of cannon and small arms, upon 
this poor, solitary, wounded gentleman. WhUe in this situation, he discovered at some 
distance a Highland officer, with a party of men, skirting the field of battle. Waving his 
hand in token of distress, and being at once perceived by his friend, a party of three men 
came to his assistance ; and, passing through a tremendous fire, they bore him off upon 
their shoulders. The Highland officer was Captain McDonald, of Frazier's battalion. 
Having learned that a young gentleman and a kinsman had fallen, he proceeded at the 
head of a party, and patrolled the battle-field, driving a considerable number of French 
and Indians before him ; and, finding his relative still unscalped, caused him to be home 
to a place of safety." — Smollet's England. 

The advocates of war will here pause for a moment, and consider. 


The above monument is particularly described in " Westminster Abbey and its Curi- 

" The subject is the tragic story of the general's death, in the very moment of victory. 
He is represented in the last agonies of expiring heroism, with his hand closing the wound 
which the ball that killed him had made in his breast, and falling into the arms of a 
grenadier, who catches, and endeavors to support him. While with one hand he holds his 
feeble arm, with the other, he points to glory, in the form of an angel, in the clouds, 
holding forth a wreath ready to crown him. On the pyramid, in bas-relief, is the faithful 
Highland sergeant who attended him ; in whose countenance the big sorrow, at the 
mournful sight of his dying master, is so painfully and faithfully expressed, that the most 
insensible human being cannot look upon him without sharing in his grief" 

The inscription carries no mark of ostentation, but simply records the facts in the fol- 
lowing words : 

To the memory of James Wolf, major-general and commander-in-chief of the British 
land forces, in an expedition against Quebec — who, after surmounting by ability and valor, 
all obstacles of art and nature, was slain in the moment of victory, on the 13th of Sep- 
tember, 1759 The King and Parhament of Great Britain dedicate this monument. 

While the British nation were thus doing honor to the victor, the French were not 
insensible to the fame of the vanquished. There is now and then a spot in the horizon 
of war, which the patriot and the philanthropist delight to contemplate. Its rarity gives 
it peculiar interest. The following being of that nature, we insert with pleasure the cor- 
respondence between M. Bougainville, a member of the French Academy of Sciences, at 
Paris, and Mr. Pitt, then Secretary of State. 


Sm : The honors paid during your ministry to the memory of Mr. Wolf, give me room 
to hope, that you will not disapprove of the grateful efforts made by the French troops to 
perpetuate the memory of the Marquia de Montcalm. The corpse of that general, vdio 


was honored with the regret of your nation, is buried in Quebec. I have the honor to 
send you aji epitaph, which the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres have wrote 
for him ; and I would beg the favor of you, sir, to read it over, and if there be nothing 
improper in it, to procure me permission to send it to Quebec, engraved on marble, to be 
put over the Marquis de Montcalm's tomb. If this permission should be granted, may I 
presume, sir, to entreat the honor of a hne to acquaint me with it, and at the same time 
to send me a passport that the engraved marble may be received on board an English ves- 
sel, and that Mr. Murray, Governor of Quebec, may give lea-ve to have it put up in the 
IJrsuline church. I ask pardon, sir, for taking off your attention even for a moment from 
your important concerns, but to endeavor to immortalize great men and illustrious citi- 
zens, is to do honor to you. 


Paris, March 25th, 176L 

This letter, it will be observed, was written when the English and French nations were 
at war. 


Sir : It is a real satisfaction to me, to send you the king's consent on such an interest- 
ing subject as the very handsome epitaph, drawn by the Academy of Inscriptions, at Paris, 
for the Marquis de Montcalm, which is desired to be sent to Quebec, engraved on marble, 
to be set upon the tomb of that illustrious warrior. The noble sentiments expressed, in 
the desire to pay this tribute to the memory of their general, by the French troops who 
served in Canada, and who saw him fall at their head in a manner worthy of him and 
worthy of them, cannot be too much applauded. 

I shall take pleasure in facilitating a design so full of respect to the deceased, and as 
.soon as I am informed of the measures taken for embarldng the marble, I shall immedi- 
ately grant the passport you desire, and send orders to the Governor of Canada for its 

As to the rest, be assured, sir, that I have a just sense of the obliging things said to me 
in the letter with which you honored me, and that I thinji it a singular happiness to have 
an opportunity to express the sentiments of distinguished esteem and consideration, with 
which I have the honor to be, etc. 


April 10, 1761. 

A translation of the inscription is as follows — 

Here lieth. 

In either hemisphere to live for ever, 

Lewis Joseph De Montcal.m Gozen: 

Marquis of St. Vcran, Baron of Gabrial> 

Commandatory of the Order of St. Louis, 

Lieutenant-General of the French army, 

Not less an excellent citizen than soldier. 

Who knew no desire but that of true glory. 

Happy in a natural genius, improved by literature, 

Having gone through the several steps of military honor 

With uninterrupted lustre. 

Skilled in all the arts of war, 

The juncture of times and the crisis of danger, .^ 

In Italy, in Bohemia, and in Germany, 

An indefatigable General, 


He ^ discharged his important trusts - 

That he always seemed equal to still greater. 

At length, grown bright with perils, 

Sent U) secure the province of Canada 

With a handful of men, 

He more than once repelled the enemy's forces 

And made liimself master of their forts, 

Replete with troops and ammunition. 

Inured to cold, hunger, watchings, and labor, 

Ihimindful of himself, 

He had no sensations but for his soldiers. 

An enemy with the fiercest impetuosity, 

A victor with the tenderest humanity. 

Adverse fortune he combatted with valor. 

The want of strength, with skill and activity. 

And with his counsel and support, 

For four years he protected the fate of the colony. 

Having with various artihces 

Long baffled a great army. 

Headed by an expert and intrepid commander 

And a fleet furnished with all warlike stores. 

Compelled at length to an engagement, 

He fell in the front rank in the first onset, 

Wami with those hopes of religion which he had always cherished, 

To the inexpressible loss of his own army 

And not without regret of the enemy, 

XIV. September; A.D. MDCCLIX. XLVIII. of his age. 

His weeping countrymen 

Deposited the remains of their excellent General 

In a grave 

Wliich a fallen bomb had excavated for him, 

Recommending them to the generous faith of their enemies. 

Whether the Marquis De Montcalm deserved all that is said of him by paitial friends, 
is oerhaps doubtful. He was unquestionably an active, efficient officer. Brave and con- 
cihating, and by his personal efforts contributed much, without doubt, to arrest the down- 
fall of the French power in North America. A less pretending epitaph, however, we think 
would have been more becoming. The idea of his weeping countrymen depositing the 
remains of their excellent general in a grave excavated by the explosion of a fallen bonab, 
we think is inimitably fine. 


Carver says, that in 1767 Pontiac was assassinated by an Indian of the Peoria tribe — 
either commissioned by some one of the English garrison, or instigated by the love he bore 
the English nation. That this savage attended Pontiac as a spy ; and being convinced fi-om 
the speech he made in council, that he still retained his former prejudices against those 
for whom he professed a friendship, he plunged a kirife into his heart, and laid him dead 
on the spot. 


The Population of ILlinois, at the time of its cession to England in 1763, about 3,000 — 
Habits of the French Settlers — Common fields — Commons — The French Settlers and 
Puritans compared — King's proclamation, October 7th, 1763 — Indian giants — Opin- 
ions of Lord Camden and others in relation to their validity — Carver's purchase — 
The French retain possession of Illinois till 1765, at which time Captain Stirling 
arrived, took possession, and established his head-quarters at Fort Chartres — General 
Gage commander-in-cliief — His head-quarters in 1764, at New- York. — Proclama- 
tion — Cathohc Religion tolerated in Ilhnois — Captain StirUng succeeded by Major 
Farmer, and the latter by Colonel Reid in 1766 — Colonel Wilkins arrives at Fort 
Chartres in 1768, takes the command, and organizes Courts of Justice, by the direc- 
tion of General Gage — French emigrate to Missouri — Other emigrants arrive — 
Population, about stationary — Colonel Willdns issues patents for land — Becomes in- 
terested in one-sixth of each, " the better to promote the service" — English authority 
established over the Indians — English debt increased by the War of 1756 — Attempt 
to increase the revenue — Excise Duties in England — The American Stamp Act — 
Earl of Bute Prime Minister — Grenville Ministry — Sir Robert Walpole's opinion of 
the Stamp Act — Roman Colonies — Greek Colonies — American colonization — Stamp 
Act becomes a law in 1754 — Its effect on the Colonies — House of Burgesses in Vir- 
ginia meet — Patrick Henry — Debate on the Stamp Act — Grenville Ministry dis- 
missed — Succeeded by the Buckingham Ministry — Stamp Act repealed — Declaratory 
Act passed — Exultation m the Colonies at the repeal of the Stamp Act — War in In- 
dia — Cause of the American Revolution in part — Grafton Ministry — Lord North — 
The latter in power at the commencement of hostilities — Battle of Lexington — Lex- 
ington in Kentucky, founded and named — Pohcy of England — Dr. Johnson's pamph- 
let, " Taxation no Tyranny" — Employment of Indians — Earl of Chatham — George 
Rogers, Clarke — Goes to Williamsburg in Virginia, and communicates his plan of 

\ an Illinois expedition to Patrick Henry, the Governor — Expedition to Kaskaskia — 
Takes the place by surprise — Monsieur Cere — Cahokia surrenders — American au- 
thority established in Illinois — Governor Hemy's private and public instmctions to 
Colonel Clarke. 

Eighty years had now elapsed since La Salle first planted the banners 
of France upon the Illinois. During that period, large sums of money 
had been expended, principally by " the Western company," or the com- 
pany of the Indies, in order to promote its settlement. Kings and princes 
had been its patrons. Ministers of state and ministers of the gospel had 
lent their aid. Incorporated and other companies had expended their 
means, and private individuals had exhausted their resources with like 
views, and, apparently, to but little purpose. The whole population of 


the State (exclusive of Indians) when ceded to England, in 1763, could 
not have exceeded three thousand souls. These were principally French, 
and resident upon the Mississippi and Illinois rivers. Their largest 
towns were Kaskaskia and Cahokia. The former contained about one 
hundred families, and the latter between forty and fifty. There were 
other small villages in their vicinity, and one at Peoria, on the Illinois 
river. Prairie Du Rocher, near the rocky bluffs, from which it derives 
its name, in 1776, contained fourteen families, and Prairie Du Pont, a 
short distance from Cahokia, contained nearly the same. There was also 
a considerable settlement in and about Fort Chartres ; all, however, put 
together, would fall short of, rather than exceed the estimate already men- 

The French population in their habits, manners, customs and charac- 
ter, were about the same then as now, and similar to what they had been 
for half a century before. That simplicity of character, and those hab- 
its peculiar to early times, are yet visible among them, and at the time of 
its cession, were analogous to those prevalent in Normandy and Picardy, 
previous to the French revolution. Each of their villages had, and some 
of them still have, their " village lots," their " common fields," and their 
" commons," the American settlers having never sought to disturb the 
repose of these "ancient and venerable communities." 

The French and Spanish governments, in forming settlements in this 
country, and especially upon the Mississippi river, had reference, not 
only to personal convenience, but to protection against the savages. They 
were laid out in the form of villages or towns, and lots of convenient size 
for a house, a small garden, some fruit trees, and a stable, were assigned 
to each family. To each village a tract of land for " common fields," 
and another for " commons," was also appended. 

A " common-field " contained several hundred, and sometimes several 
thousand acres, inclosed by the joint labor of all, each contributing his 
share ; and each family possessing an individual interest in certain por- 
tions, set ofl* by definite bounds. Their interest in this separate portion 
was held in fee simple, and subject to sale and conveyance as other real 
estate. Their fences were repaired in common. The time of excluding 
cattle in the spring, and of gathering the crops and opening the field to 
cattle in the autumn, was regulated by special ordinances, equally obli- 
gatory with statute laws, and better enforced, because every individual 
had an interest in their observance. 

A "common" contained frequently several thousand acres, and was 
granted to the town for wood and pasturage. In this, each villager had a 
joint or common, but not a separate interest. 

A community thus organized, dependent for its prosperity on the In- 
dian trade, and having but few aspirations beyond it, unless their propen- 
sity for mining (wholly ungralified) be talipn into view, it could hardly be 
expected would advance rapidly either in wealth or improvement. Hence 
a feW' thousand acres only were reclaimed in. the whole State by eighty 


years of toil ; less than the same number of " Yankees "* would have 
reclaimed in as many months. 

The " Pilgrims," six years only after the settlement of Boston, founded 
a college at Cambridge, and the General Court of Massachusetts voted a 
sum of money equal to a year's rate of the whole colony, for the erection 
of buildings. In 1638, John Harvard (who came thither but to die) gave 
the institution, which afterward acquired his name, one-half of his estate 
and all his library. Connecticut and Plymouth sent in their little offer- 
ings, and every family in each of the above colonies once gave to this 
parent institution " twelve pence in cash, or a peck of corn, or its value 
in unadulterated wampum peag." 

In King Philip's war, which took place in 1675, the losses and dis- 
bursements of Massachusetts alone, were estimated at half a million of 
dollars. More than six hundred men, chiefly young men, the flower of 
the country, of whom " any mother might have been proud," perished in 
the field, and more than six hundred houses were burnt. Of the able 
bodied men, one in twenty was slain in battle, and one family in twenty 
was burnt out. The loss of lives in proportion to their number, and of 
property in proportion to its value, in one year, was greater than in the 
whole revolutionary war. There was scarcely a family in the province 
from which death had not selected a victim. 

The Puritans, however, were a different people from the first settlers 
of Illinois. As early as 1689, the former rose in arms " with the most 
unanimous resolution" that ever inspired a people, and defended insur- 
rection " as a duty to God and their country." " We commit our enter- 
prise," said the people of Boston, " to Him who hears the cry of the 
oppressed, and advise all our neighbors for whom we have ventured our- 
selves to join with us in prayer, and all just action for the defence of the 
land." They also arrested their governor in the street, "when he first 
displayed his scarlet coat and arbitrary commission, and marched him 
and his fellows to the town-house, and afterward to prison." This was 
done by Puritans, the advocates of religion and order — " a class of men," 
says Bancroft, " who, disdaining ceremony, would not bow at the name of 
Jesus, nor bend the knee to the King of kings." Although " new fash- 
ions" afterward prevailed among the younger sort of women, and "super- 
fluous ribbons " were sometimes worn on their apparel, they consoled 
themselves with the reflection that " musicians by trade," and dancing- 
schools, were not licensed by statute. And to justify the establishment 
of "the congregational church" in its " purest" and most athletic con- 
stitution by law, they said, that " the people were led into the wilderness 
hy Aaron not less than by Moses." 

While each family of the Puritans has multiplied on an average to 
one thousand souls, and their system of free schools, their habits of in- 

* When the EngUsh first arrived in New-England, they were called by the Indiana, 
Yanguese." Hence, the word Yankees being a corruption of the word Yanguese j de- 
rived, perhaps, from the French word " Anglois." ,. ' V ' 


dustry and economy, their ingenuity, enterprise and perseverance have 
pervaded every sea, and extended their improvements from the Atlantic 
almost to the Pacific Ocean, the French population of Illinois slept al- 
most for a century ; and were they, like the talent in Scripture, which had 
been bui'ied, to be now awoke and all enumerated, it is questionable, per- 
haps, whether they would exceed their original number. 

A new era, however, was at hand. The Anglo-Saxon race was ap- 
proaching, and the banners of England were about to wave on the banks of 
the Mississippi. The principles of English liberty, however, did not accom- 
pany their march — the doctrines of self-government and the capacity of 
man for the possession or enjoyment of either, were unfortunately over- 
looked or foolishly discarded. English supremacy, therefore, instead of 
a blessing, was converted into a curse. 

The talented men, under whose administration the British arms had 
triumphed on every sea and in every land ; who had controlled for several 
years the destiny of England, by the folly of a youthful and inexperienced 
prince, or the wickedness of a profligate junta, were driven from power, 
and another king "who knew not Joseph," had arisen, and England bled 
"at every pore." 

The first act of George the Third in relation to the ceded territory, 
emanated in great wisdom, and being about the only one of that character 
apparent of record, deserves to be particularly mentioned. 

On the 7th of October, 1763, a proclamation was issued by the king, 
with the advice of his privy council, declaring it to be his royal will and . 
pleasure, that no governor or commander-in-chief "grant warrants of; 
survey, or pass patents, for any lands beyond the heads or sources of anyj 
of the rivers which fall into the Atlantic Ocean from the west or north-'' 
west, or upon any lands whatever, which, not having been ceded to or 
purchased by us, are reserved to the Indians." 

It also strictly forbids, " on pain of our displeasure, all our loving 
subjects from making any purchases or settlements whatever, or taking 
possession of Indian lands without our special leave or license, for that 
purpose first obtained." 

Its concluding paragraph we insert at length, as attempts have recently 
been made to establish titles derived from Indian deeds, executed in vio- 
lation of its provisions ; and as those titles have within the last few years 
been the subjects of speculation here : 

" And whereas, great frauds and abuses have been committed in pur- 
chasing lands of the Indians, to the great prejudice of our interests and to 
the great dissatisfaction of the said Indians ; in order, therefore, to prevent 
such irregularities for the future, and to the end that the Indians may be 
convinced of our justice and determined resolution to remove all reasona- 
ble cause of discontent ; we do, with the advice of our privy council, 
strictly enjoin and require, that no private person do presume to make any 
purchase from the said Indians, of any lands reserved to the said Indians 
within those parts of our colonies where we have thought proper to allow 


settlements. But that, if at any time any of the Indians should be inclined 
to dispose of the said lands, the same shall be purchased only for us in 
our name, at some public meeting or assembly of the said Indians, to be 
held for that purpose by the governor or commander-in-chief of our colony 
respectively, within the limits of any proprietors, conformably to such 
directions and instructions as we or they shall think proper to give for 
that purpose." 

Notwithstanding, however, the above proclamation, several deeds were 
made and executed by chiefs and warriors residing in Illinois and its 
vicinity, to individual subjects of the British crown. Among the most 
important are those made at Kaskaskia, on the 5th of July, 1773, to Wil- 
liam Murray, of the Illinois country, and others, signed by the Kaskaskia 
and Cahokia chiefs in council, representing all the tribes of the Illinois 
Indians, of two separate tracts. The first beginning at the mouth of 
Huron creek, about a league below the mouth of the Kaskaskia river — 
thence a northeast course to '• the hilly plains," eight leagues or there- 
abouts — thence to the Crab-tree plains, seventeen leagues or thereabouts, 
be the same more or less — thence in a direct line to a remarkable place, 
known by the name of the " Big Buffalo hoofs," seven leagues or there- 
abouts — thence to Salt-lick creek, about seven leagues — thence easterly 
in a direct line, to the Ohio river — thence down the Ohio to the Missis- 
sippi river, about thirty- five leagues — thence up the Mississippi thirty. 
three leagues or thereabouts, to the place of beginning. The second piece 
or parcel of land, is situated on the east side of the Mississippi river, 
beginning at a point opposite the mouth of the Missouri — tlience up the 
Mississippi to the mouth of the Illinois — thence up the Illinois river, by 
the several courses thereof to Chicagoue, or Garlick creek, about ninety 
leagues or thereabouts, be the same more or less — thence nearly a north- 
erly course, in a direct line to a certain place remarkable, being the 
gi'ound on which an engagement or battle was fought, about forty or fifty 
years ago, between the Peoria and Renard Indians, about fifty leagues, 
be the same more or less — thence a north-of-east course, in a direct line 
to a remarkable spring, known to the Indians by the name of Foggy 
Spring, about fourteen leagues, be the same more or less — thence the 
same course in a direct line, to a great mountain to the northwest of the 
White Buffalo plain, about iifteen leagues, be the same more or less — 
thence nearly a southwest course in a direct line to the place of begin- 
ning, be the same more or less — and also all minerals, ores, etc. there- 
unto belonging. The above deeds were pronounced by three of the most 
celebrated lawyers in England, Pratt, Yorke, and Dunning — two of whom, 
Yorke and Pratt, (afterward the famous Lord Camden.) became chancel- 
lors of England — to be valid, in an opinion officially given by them to the 
king as crown-lawyers. 

" In respect (said they) to such places as have been, or shall be ac- 
quired by treaty or grant from any of the Indian princes or governments, 
your majesty's letters-patent are not necessary. The property of the 


soil vesting in the grantee by the Indian agents, subject only to your 
majesty's right of sovereignty over the settlements as English settlements, 
and over the inhabitants as English subjects, who carry with them your 
majesty's laws wherever they form colonies, and receive your majesty's 
protection by virtue of your royal charter." 

The principles and policy of our government being adverse to the opin- 
ion above expressed, we shall resume the subject when we come to speak 
of public lands. 

Carver's purchase, exceeding in its dimensions several states in Europe, 
near the Falls of St. Anthony, in the territories of Wisconsin and lowa^ 
is of a similar character, except that the latter is not as well authenti- 
cated, nor was it as fairly obtained. 

Carver was a captain in the British service, and purchased, as he 
alleges, an extensive tract of the Sioux, for which he paid a valuable 
consideration. Several attempts have been made to procure its confirma- 
tion by Congress — all, however, to no effect. The present generation of 
Indians appear not to know, and say they never heard of any such chiefs 
as those whose names are appended to Carver's grant. It is said, how- 
ever, when Carver was here, there were Sioux of the hill and Sioux of 
the plain. The former were a migrating tribe, living on the head waters 
of certain streams which empty into the Mississippi near the Falls of St. 
Anthony. The former may have executed such a deed, and probably did 
so. The Sioux of the plains, however, whose habitations were upon the 
river, and as permanent as Indian habitations usually are, never, we be- 
lieve, recognized its validity. "Land script," therefore, in Carver's pur- 
chase we hope will shortly (if they have not already,) cease to circulate. 
They are, in fact, of less value than " Pontiac's bills of credit," drawn 
upon bark, during the Pontiac war. 

Although the State of Illinois was ceded to England, in 1763, it con- 
tinued in the possession of France until 1765, at which time Captain 
Stirling, of the royal Highlanders, arrived, assumed its government in 
the name of his Britannic majesty, and established his head-quarters at 
Fort Chartres. 

General Gage, who commanded the British troops in Boston, at the 
commencement of the American revolution, was at that time commander- 
in-chief of the king's forces in North America. The head-quarters of 
General Gage were in the city of New- York. Captain Stirling brought 
hither a proclamation of the commander-in-chief, granting to the Roman 
Catholic subjects of his majesty, in Illinois, the full and free exercise of 
their religion, according to the rites of the Romish church ; and as this 
document is somewhat rare, we insert it at length. 

"Whereas, by the peace concluded at Paris, the 10th of February, 1763, the country 
of the Illinois has been ceded to his Britannic majesty, and the taking possession of the 
said country of the Illinois, by the troops of his majesty, though delayed, has been deter- 
mined upon ; we have found it good to make known to the inhabitants — 

" That his majesty grants to the inhabitants of the Illinois, the liberty of the Catholic re]i- 


gion, as it has already beea granted to Ms subjects in Canada. He has consequently 
given the most precise and effective orders, to the end that his new Roman Catholic sub- 
jects of the Illinois may exercise the worship of their reUgion, according to the rites of the 
Romish church, in the same manner as in Canada. 

" That his majesty, moreover, agrees that the French inhabitants or others, who haye 
been subjects of the most Christian king, (the King of France,) may retire in full safety 
and freedom wherever they please, even to New Orleans, or any other part of Louisiana ; 
although it should happen that the Spaniards take possession of it in the name of his 
Catholic majesty, (the King of Spain,) and they may sell their estates, provided it be to 
subjects of his majesty, and transport their effects as well as their persons, without restraint 
upon their emigration, under any pretence whatever, except in consequence of debts, or 
of criminal processes. 

'■' That those who choose to retain their lands and become subjects of his majesty, Shall 
enjoy the same rights and privileges, the same security for their persons and effects, and 
the liberty of trade, as the old subjects of the king. 

" That they are commanded by these presents, to take the oath of fideUty and obedience 
to his majesty, in presence of Sieur Stirling, captain of the Highland regiment, the bearer 
hereof, and furnished with our full powers for this purpose. 

" That we recommend forcibly to the inhabitants, to conduct themselves like good and 
faithful subjects, avoiding, by a wise and prudent demeanor, all cause of complaint against 

" That they act in concert with his majesty's officers, so that his troops may take peace- 
able possession of all the forts, and order be kept in the country. By this means alone 
they will sjjare his majesty the necessity of recurring to force of arms, and will find them- 
selves saved from the scourge of a bloody war, and of all the evils which the march of an 
enemy into their country would draw after it. 

" We direct that these presents be read, published, and posted up in the usual places. 

" Done and given at head-quarters, New-York — signed with our hand — sealed with our 

seal at arms, and countersigned by our secretary, this 30th of December, 1764. 


•' By his excellency, G. Maturin." 

Captain Stirling remained in Illinois for a short time only ; he was 
succeeded by Major Farmer ; and the latter relieved by Colonel Reed, 
in 1766. 

The administration of justice was at that time in the hands of the miU 
itary commandant, and very odious to the public. Complaints of grievous 
oppressions were frequently made, but with little or no success. Colonel 
Reed soon afterward left the colony, and was succeeded by Lieutenant- 
colonel Wilkins, who arrived at Kaskaskia on the 5th of September, 1768. 

On the 91st of November following, Colonel Wilkins issued a procla- 
mation, in which he stated, he had received orders from General Gage, 
the commander-in-chief, to establish a court of justice in Illinois, for set- 
ling all disputes and controversies between man and man, and all claims 
in relation to property, both real and personal. Seven judges were there- 
fore appointed by the military commandant, who met and held their first 
term at Fort Chartres, on the 6th of December, 1768. Courts were held 
thereafter, once m every month. This system, however preferable to the 
military tribunal it superseded, was far from being satisfactory. The 
people insisted on a trial by jury, and this being denied them, the court 
itself became unpopular. A few improvements only were made, and 


but little change was produced in the situation or condition of the colony, 
until the breaking out of the American Revolution. Some of the French 
inhabitants crossed the Mississippi, and took up their residence in Upper 
Louisiana, (now Mississippi,) which being at that time under the dominion 
of Spain, and the Catholic religion predominant, was preferred by them 
to a government administered by Protestants. A few English emigrants 
also came hither. Its population, therefore, was about stationary ; and 
the enterprise which usually accompanies the arts and arms of England, 
unfelt and unseen. 

Of Lieutenant-Colonel Wilkins's administration, but little is known. It 
appears, however, " that John Wilkins, Esq., lieutenant-colonel of his 
majesty's eighteenth or royal regiment of Ireland, governor and com- 
mandant throughout the Illinois country," on the 12th day of April, in 
the ninth year of the reign of " our sovereign lord, George III., King of 
Great Britain, France, and Ireland," (1769) made extensive grants of 
lands to several of his friends in Illinois and elsewhere, " for the -better 
settlement of the colony ;" in which, •'• the better to promote said service," 
the said Lieutenant-Colonel John Wilkins " agreed to be interested in one- 
sixth part thereof."* It appears also that the lands contained in these 
grants, and particularly in one of them, containing thirty thousand acres, 
(made without authority,) were afterward patented by Governor St. Clair, 
of the Northwestern Territory, to John Edgar and John Murray St. Clair, 
whose title was derived by assignment from Colonel Wilkins's patentee. f 

If Lieutenant-Colonel John Wilkins, governor and commandant through- 
out the Illinois country, etc., was interested in one-sixth part of all the 
lands he thus granted without authority, the same having been also granted 
without any pecuniary consideration whatever, and the title to those lands 
has since been confirmed by the United States government to John Edgar 
and John Murray St. Clair, assignees, the office of governor in Illinois 
might have been, and probably was, (laying aside principle,) more lucra- 
tive in former times than at present. 

The English authority was now established in Illinois, to all human 
appearances, upon a permanent and substantial basis. Causes, however, 
began shortly to operate, which rendei'ed this authority not only precarious, 
but transient in its duration. 

The war of 1756 had made a resort to extensive loans necessary in 
England ; the public debt had increased beyond all former example, and 
its magnitude became alarming. 

Several expedients were proposed by ministers for the payment of its 
interest, and the final extinction of its principal : — the time not having 
yet arrived, when a public debt was regarded by the English people as a 
" public blessing." 

Among those expedients were excise duties in England, and the Amer- 
ican Stamp Act ; the latter of which being followed by others of a similar 

* See American State Papers, vol. 2. page 180, public lands. o 
+ See State Papers, vol. 2. page 113. 


character, a few years thereafter, severed the British Empire in twain, 
and produced an explosion that was heard and felt throughout the globe. 

The Earl of Bute, a Scotch nobleman,, " of talents somewhat exceed- 
ing mediocrity,"* had been a tutor of George III. before he ascended 
the English throne. The king, having a favorable opinion of his talents 
from what he had seen and known, and supposing him to be qualified for 
a higher department, in 1760, introduced him into his cabinet, and shortly 
thereafter made him his prime minister. 

Sir Robert Walpole, in the zenith of his power, had previously at- 
tempted to introduce excise laws into England, and on account of their 
unpopularity, had abandoned the scheme, fearful of its consequences, not 
to the nation, but to himself. The attempt was now repeated, and though 
violently opposed, succeeded, and the bill became a law. 

The " cider tax," which made those who " choose to regale them- 
selves with a distillation from apples, contribute to the revenue, as v/ell 
as those who choose to regale themselves with a distillation from barley," 
being included among others, created loud and violent clamors. Mr. 
Pitt having resigned the office of secretary, and being now a member of 
the House of Commons, dii'ected against the latter the whole force of his 
eloquence. Mr. Grenville, the colleague, and afterwai'd the successor of 
Lord Bute, replied, and said the tax was unavoidable. Turning to Mr. 
Pitt while the debate was yet pending, he unfortunately asked, with an 
air of considerable triumph, " Where can you lay another tax ?" re- 
peating this expression several times over, " Where can you lay another 
tax ?" Mr. Pitt rose, and in the words of a favorite song, replied in a 
musical tone, and a manner that was perfectly irresistible, " Gentle 
Shepherd, tell me where." Mr. Grenville, though successful in carrying 
the bill through both houses of Parliament, ever afterward retained the 
tile of " Gentle Shepherd." 

This act was represented, by the opposition, as a part of the general 
scheme formed by Lord Bute for plundering England, to gratify the ra- 
pacity of Scotchmen, and for esfabl^shing absolute power ; and Lord 
Bute having, as he said, restored peace to the world, finding himself 
"generally hated,"! suddenly and unexpectedly resigned, and in 1763, 
was succeeded as prime minister by the Hon. George Grenville, (the 
Gentle Sheperd,) above referred to. Of Mr. Grenville, Burke, in his 
speech on American taxation says : " With a masculine understanding, 
and a strict and resolute heart, he had an application undissipated and 
unwearied. He took public business, not as a duty he was to fulfil, but 
as a pleasure he was to enjoy ; and he seemed to have no delight out of 
this house, except in such things as some way related to the business that 
was to be done within it. If he was ambitious, his ambition was of a noble 
and generous strain. It was to raise himself, not by the low pimping 
politics of a court, but to win his way to power, through the laborious 

* Biseet's reign of George III. t See Bisset's George III. 



gradations of public service, and to secure himself a weTf^earned rank m 
Parliament, by a thorough knowledge of its institution, and a perfect 
practice in all its business. He was bred to a profession ; the profession 
of the law, which is, in my opinion, one of the first and noblest of sci- 
ences — a science which does more to quicken and invigorate the under- 
standing, than all the other kinds of learning put together • but it is not 
apt, except in persons happily born, to open and to liberalize the mind ex- 
actly in the same proportion. Mr. Grenville thought better of the wis- 
dom and power of human legislation, than in truth it deserved. He 
conceived, and many conceived along with him, that the flourishing trade 
of this country, was greatly owing to law and institution, and not quite so 
much to liberty; for too many are apt to believe regulation to be com- 
merce, and taxes to be revenue." 

During the year 1764, the Middlesex election, (John Wilks's case,) the 
North Britain, and other subjects of a similar character, occupied, to a 
considerable extent, the attention of ministers ; and the affairs of America 
were consequently neglected. 

Of John Wilks's case. Lord Mansfield said, that he was " decidedly 
against its prosecution ; his consequence," said his lordship, " will die 
away, if you let him alone ; but by public notice of him you will in- 
crease that consequence, which is the very thing he covets." Lord 
Mansfield's opinion, however, was disregarded ; and the ministry after- 
ward, to their sorrow, felt its effects. During this year a law was passed, 
for levying certain duties, etc., in order "to encourage trade with the 
sugar plantations." It was also, in this year, that Mr. Grenville propo- 
sed his famous scheme, " that toward further defraying the expenses of 
protecting, and securing the colonies, it may be proper to charge certain 
stamp duties in the colonies ; a scheme pregnant with important conse- 
quences. No bill, however, was introduced during the session of Parlia- 
ment in '64, and the whole matter was postponed, to give the colonies an 
opportunity to offer a compensation for the revenue which such a tax 
misht produce." This proposition was answered by petitions and re- 
monstrances, •' denying the right of the British Parliament to tax them in 
any case whatever." In the session of '65, these petitions and remon- 
strances being read in Parliament, the justice and expediency of taxation 
became the subject of animated discussion. Being the first link in the 
chain of events, which brought on the American Revolution, and inclu- 
ding, as it did, the assertion of a new pretended claim, and involving new 
and important principles, it deserves some further consideration. 

The Stamp Act became a law in 1765. Captain Stirling, during the 
same year, in the name of his Britannic majesty, took possession, as already 
stated, of Illinois, and established his head-quarters at Fort Chartres. 
So far, then, as Illinois is concerned, British arms and British oppression, 
if taxation without representation be regarded as such, went hand in hand. 
This State, we have already shown, was included in the charters 
granted to the London and Plymouth companies, and although neither 


had extended their possessions thither, its subsequent conquest and annex- 
ation to the empire, by the united efTorts of all its parts^ did not extin- 
guish, as of course, the claims of Massachusetts or Virginia, or prevent 
those who should thereafter inhabit it, from assuming the duties, and 
asserting the rights, of British subjects ; and not only its legality, but its 
justice and expediency. 

In discussing the bill for raising a revenue in America, the general ob 
jects of colonization, the means by which they had been effected, and the 
state, condition, and sentiments of the British colonies iji particular, came 
under review. The bill, though financial in its nature, was pregnant 
with political consequences of the highest moment; and in fact equal, or 
perhaps superior, in importance, to any which had hitherto engrossed the 
attention of an English Parliament. 

The same questions at issue, had been agitated during the administra- 
tion of Sir Robert Walpole ; and that minister had frequently stated, that 
such a tax was unconstitutional. " I will leave the taxation of America," 
said he, " to my successors, who may have more courage than I have, or 
he less a friend to commerce and the constitution than I am." The same 
questions too, had been argued and determined by the British people, du- 
ring the revolution. " The glorious revolution," as it has usually been 
called by British historians. The house of Hanover then reigned by 
virtue of a principle, and in consequence of its triumph, which the oppo- 
nents of the Stamp Act sought to establish. The question in relation to 
ship money, in the reign of Charles L, and the questions involved in the 
Stamp Act, were the same. The paytnent of twenty shillings by John 
Hampden, when called upon by the collector, "would not have impaired 
his fortune; but the payment of half of twenty shillings, on the principle 
it was demanded, would have made him a slave." Hence the civil war, 
the elevation of Cromwell, and the death of Charles, for doing precisely 
what the Grenville administration was now attempting. 

In arguing the bill, many, by referring to former times, and to the 
practice of ancient nations, and especially to the Greeks and Romans, 
were led into errors respecting the issue between England and her colo- 

The motives for colonization have been difT^rent in different ages, 
countries, and circumstances; and from the want of similitude, there 
arose a diversity of relations between the mother country and the planta- 
tions. Small states, of limited extent and increasing population, were 
frequently obliged to send their surplus inhabitants abroad, in quest of 
other homes. This was the case in Phosnicia, and in some of the Grecian 
states, whose settlements in Asia, Africa, Italy, and elsewhere, from their 
nature, were wholly independent of the mother country,. Such colonies 
r;esembled the children of a family, setting out to seek their fortunes 
abroad, because they had no means of subsistence at home. Whatever 
might have been their affection, they were no longer under the command 
or control of the parent. 



Some of the Roman colonies were planted under different circum- 
stances, and of course stood on a different footing. The state, increas- 
intr at home in population, and abroad in territories, found conquered 
countries abounding in cultivated land, but drained of their inhabitants 
by long and disastrous wars. Settlers, in such cases, were sent thither 
from Rome, to prevent such countries from becoming wild and solitary- 
wastes. Here the mother country afforded subsistence to her offspring, 
for their exertions in her behalf, and protection to them as the price of 
their allegiance. Such colonies were not adventurers sent forth to seek 
their fortunes, with " the world all before them," but children settled by 
parents on farms dependent on themselves. Such plantations were, and 
from their nature must have been, parts and parcels of the empire. 
The subjugation of Roman colonies to the parent state, or the indepen- 
dence of Greek migrations, under circumstances already related, were 
not, therefore, cases in point. The American colonies were not estab- 
lished at the cost of the mother country: England founded none of them. 
The colonists first escaped from oppression, and afterward, at their own 
cost and by their own toil, erected their own dwellings in the wilderness. 
Virginia, we have already seen, was founded by a private company. 
New-England was "the home of the exile." Their unnatural parent 
first thrust them out, and then claimed them as her children merely to 
oppress them. 

On the other hand,' it was urged by ministers, that the colonies had 
been " planted by their care, nourished by their indulgence, and protected 
by their arms;" that it was, therefore, reasonable, that America should 
contribute its share in sustaining the empire. Although every position 
they assumed was false ; although the connection of America with Eu- 
rope was fraught only with danger — the rivalry of European powers 
merely transferring the scenes of their bloody feuds to the wilds of Ame- 
rica — the bill passed by a large majority, on the 22nd of March, 1765 ; 
and became an important event, not only in the reign of the English 
sovereign, but in the history of Europe, and the world. 

The effect of its passage in the colonies was electric. The first legis- 
lative body that convened after intelligence of this event reached America, 
was the Assembly of Virginia. There was, at that time, in the House of 
Burgesses, an obscure country lawyer, by the name of Patrick Henry. 
He was then about twenty-nine years of age — poor, ill-dressed, rather 
illiterate and inexperienced. He had practiced law with some little suc- 
cess, for four or five years, in the upper counties of Virginia, and had 
acquired the reputation of being eloquent. 

" He now stood forth to rouse the drooping spirits of the people, and to 
unite all hearts and hands in the cause of his country." A Mr. Johnson, 
early in 1765, had been elected a member of the House of Burgesses, for 
the county of Louisa ; after his election, intelligence of the passage of 
the Stamp Act having been received, Mr. Johnson vacated his seat, and 
on the 1st of May, a new election was ordered ; and on the 20th of the 


same month, Mr. Henry was returned as a member, and took his seat in 
the house — to shake the brightest jewels from the crown of England, and 
make its sovereign tremble on his throne. 

Mr. Henry having, as he says, " waited in vain for some step to be 
taken by his seniors, till within three days of the close of the session " 
introduced his famous resolutions on the subject of the Stamp Act • the 
fifth and last of which is as follows : 

" Resolved — That the General Assembly of this colony, have the sole right and power 
to lay taxes and impositions upon the inhabitants of this colony ; and that every attempt 
to vest such power in any person or persons whatever, other than the General Assembly 
aforesaid, has a manifest tendency to destroy British as well as American freedom." 

In discussing this and the other resolutions, he had not only to contend 
hand to hand, with a powerful party — unprepared as yet for decisive 
measures — but also to cheer on the timid band of followers, that were 
trembling, fainting, and drawing back below him. " It was, says Mr. 
Wirt, in his Life of Patrick Henry, " an occasion that called forth all his 
strength ; the cords of argument, with which his adversaries flattered 
themselves they had bound him fast, became packthread in his hands ; 
he burst them with as much ease as the un.shorn Sampson did the bands 
of the Philistines. He seized the pillars of the temple, shook them ter- 
ribly, and seemed to threaten his opponents with ruin. It was an incipi- 
ent storm of lightning and thunder, which struck them aghast. The 
faint-hearted gathered courage from his countenance, and cowards be- 
came brave while they gazed on his exploits." 

"In the midst of this debate,"' says Mr. Wirt, "while he was descant- 
ing on the tyranny of the obnoxious acts, he exclaimed, in a voice of 
thunder, and with the look of a god : ' Csesar had his Brutus, Charles 

the First his Cromwell, and George the Third ' ' Treason ! treason P 

echoed from every part of the house. It was one of those trying mo- 
ments which are decisive of character. Henry faltered not for an in- 
stant ; but rising to a loftier attitude, and fixing on the speaker an eye of 
the most determined fire, he finished his sentence with the firmest em- 
phasis : ' and George the Third may profit by their example. If this be 
treason, make the most of it.'" 

The resolutions, after a stormy debate, passed by a small majority, 
and the last by a majority of one. Peyton Randolph, the attorney, 
general, coming out of the house immediately afterward, said, as he 
entered the lobby : " By G— ! I would have given five hundred guineas 
for a single vote." One vote would have divided the house, and Robin- 
son, the speaker, would have negatived the resolution. Mr. Henry left 
them in the evening, and the above resolution was expunged the next 
morning ; the majority being as yet unprepared for the bold and decisive 
measures which Henry had proposed. An impulse, however, was given 
to the revolution, and to the cause of liberty, which nothing thereafter 
could resist. 


The Legislature of Massachusetts next assembled, and echoed the voice 
of Virginia. It was like the " mountain replying to the thunder," or like 
"deep calling unto deep." 

In the meantime, the English cabinet lost entirely the favor and confi- 
dence of their sovereign. Mr. Grenville, though a man of great indus- 
try, and respectable talents, was unable to meet on equal terms the 
powerful opposition arrayed against him. He could not " adapt the ex. 
ertions of his genius to circumstances yet untried ;" he was, in fact, 
" unequal to the situation in which he was placed." The odium attached 
to the excise laws, (however unjust and unreasonable,) the clamor ex- 
cited by the expulsion of Wilkes from the House of Commons ; the alien- 
ation of America caused by the Stamp Act ; and the insolence of the 
Duke of Bedford (president of the council,) to his sovereign, (his col- 
leagues adhering to their president,) produced such an effect upon the 
king, that the whole of the administration, in the latter part of 1765, were 
dismissed from office. 

An application was thereupon made by the king^ to Mr. Pitt, to assist 
his majesty in the formation of a new one. Mr. Pitt refused at once to 
accede to any terms short of a complete change of men, measures, and 
counsels ; and would not even gratify the court by leaving to its appoint- 
ment the subordinate officers. The king deeming it inexpedient to pur- 
chase at such a price even the services of Mr. Pitt, appointed the Marquis 
of Rockingham prime minister, and among other appointments, the Duke 
of Grafton and General Conway, secretaries of state. The great object 
of the Rockingham administration appears to have been popularity. 
The cider-tax (though productive) was thereupon repealed, and in order to 
satisfy both parties upon the subject of American taxation, Parliament 
passed a declaratory law, " that Great Britain had a right to tax America," 
and on the 18th of March, 1766, repealed the odious Stamp Act, by a 
majority of 275 to 167. Temporizing measures are seldom the offspring 
of wisdom, and less frequently the parent of success. If England had a 
constitutional right to tax America, the repeal of the Stamp Act was ex- 
ceedingly injudicious ; ,and if she had no such right, the declaratory act 
was superlative folly. 

Intelligence, however, of its repeal was received in the colonies with 
transports of joy, and the House of Burgesses in Virginia, in a paroxysm 
of feeling, voted a statue to the king and an obelisk to the British patriots, 
by whose exertions the repeal had been effected. Their joy, however, 
was of short duration. While the controversy between England and her 
colonies was pending, a war was raging in India, and the attention of 
Parliament was consequently divided. In the latter, says an English 
historian, the British conquerors directed their pursuits to one object ex- 
clusively, the acquisition of money. In their modes of exaction from the 
feeble natives, they observed the systematic regularity of commercial 
habits. They pillaged, not with the ferocity of soldiers, but with the 
cool exactness of debtor and creditor. Instead of saying to the sovereign 


of Hindostan : You have a very rich country, and we must fiave a part 
of its products, (which would have been the language of robbers,) they 
adopted a mercantile mode : We shall collect your revenue for you — re- 
taining for our services only eighty per cent.* The unprecedented in- 
flux of wealth thus obtained from India, produced an immediate chann-e 
in the habits, sentiments, and pursuits of the English people ; and, like 
the plunder of South America by the Spaniards, excited the cupidity, 
inflamed the arrogance, and increased the self-will and obstinacy, not 
only of Parliament, but of the nation. India became thus an accessory 
to the American war. The arms of England having triumphed on the 
Ganges, many Englishmen supposed that the colonies would fall an easy 
prey ; and regarding them as property, the English Parliament, by its 
subsequent legislation, closed the door of reconciliation for ever. 

We have neither time nor space to speak of that legislation, except in 
general terms. The Quebec bill, as it is usually called, passed in 1766. 
(By this bill Illinois was annexed to, and became a part of, Canada.) 

The bill for laying duties upon glass, paper, painters' colors, and tea ; 
the Boston port bill — the bill for altering and revoking charters — the bill 
for quartering troops upon the colonists — the bill for transporting persons 
charged with offences, beyond the high seas for trial — the bill for depriving 
the colonists, in some cases, of trial by jury — are a part only of the 
grievances of which the colonists had reason to complain. 

The Rockingham administration endured but for a season, when it was 
succeeded by the administration, of which the Duke of Grafton was 
premier, and Lord Hillsborough secretary for the colonies. Of this 
administration, Mr. Pitt, created Earl of Chatham, was a member. He 
was too ill, however, to participate in its acts, and therefore not respon- 
sible for its follies. The Grafton administration was succeeded by Lord 
North's ; and the latter was in power at the commencement of American 
hostilities. During the ten years preceding that event, four several ad- 
ministrations in England had followed each other in rapid succession, to 
their political graves — neither of which had evinced stability of purpose, 
talents, or integrity. 

The acts of oppression before enumerated, and others of a similar 
nature^all of which are referred to in our Declaration of Independence, 
which every citizen in this country peruses with exultation, and to which 
we now with pleasure refer — at last alienated the American colonists 
from their parent and sovereign, and produced a combination against the 
whole system of British legislation, which nothing could resist. 

Of the commencement of hostilities in 1775, and of their progress 
afterward, 't is not our intention here to speak. They would require an- 
other volume. The facts, however, which preceded the first military 
aggression, demand consideration. 

The colonists, driven nearly to extremities hy a series of oppressire 

* See Biaaet's England. 


acts, began early to provide for their own security. The manufacture of 
arms was at first encouraged — efforts to instruct the militia how to use 
them followed thereafter — and the collection of military stores at different 
points, indicated to all, in the spring of '75, the approach of danger. 

A quantity of the latter having been collected at Lexington and Con- 
cord in Massachusetts, General Gage, then governor of the colony, and 
commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America, in an evil 
hour devised a plan, either to destroy or to reduce them to his own pos- 
session. In order to render the proposed expedition sure, the strictest 
secrecy was required ; and the highest officers in the British army, at 
nightfall on the 18th of April, were as yet unapprised of the meditated 

At nine o'clock in the evening of that eventful day, Lord Percy re- 
paired to the head-quarters of the commander-in-chief, pursuant to a 
summons for that purpose, in order to receive instructions ; and returning 
from thence to his lodgings, heard the movements, just communicated to 
him in confidence, openly discussed by a group of patriots in the street. 
He thereupon hastened back to the general, and told him that he was 
betrayed. Orders, therefore, were immediately issued that no American 
should leave the town. The orders, however, were about five minutes 
too late. The patriots, in and about Boston, were already acquainted 
with their design. Lanterns (the preconcerted signal) had been lighted 
up in the North Church steeple in Boston. Trusty messengers had been 
dispatched in every direction with the intelligence, and the whole country 
was now alarmed. 

When, therefore, the British troops were mustered at ten o'clock in the 
evening on Boston Common, " and one day's provision was dealt out to 
them," the patriots in Charleston and Cambridge, in Concord and Lexing- 
ton, were on their guard. 

At midnight the disciplined armies of a brave, a Christian, and kindred 
people, led by gallant officers — the pride and glory of England — marched 
forth in all the " pomp and circumstance of glorious war," to destroy a 
few military stores hastily collected, and to seize and secure for the 
halter, men, whose only crime was that of uttering, in the English tongue, 
on this side of the ocean, those principles M'hich gave to England her 
standing among nations ; and to plunge their swords into the breasts of 
men, who fifteen years before, on the Plains of Abraham, had fought and 
conquered by their side.* 

They did not, however, go unobserved. Intelligence of their march 
had preceded them. Faithful messengers had aroused the citizens and 
soldiers from their slumbers. Alarm guns had been fired ; the tocsin 
had been sounded, at an unusual hour, from steeples that never before 
rang with any other summons than the gospel of peace ; and the air of 
midnight bore on its wings the mingled notes of preparation, and the 
sounds of gathering bands resolved to be free. 

* Everett. 


At five o'clock on the morning of the 19th day of April, 1775, a day 
to be for ever remembered, the British army, which had been mustered at 
ten o'clock the preceding night on Boston common, reached Lexington. 
It consisted of eight hundred grenadiers and light infantry, the flower of 
the royal army, " with gleaming bayonets, headed by their mounted 
commanders, their banners flying and drums beating a charge." Between 
sixty and seventy Lexington militia appeared on the green, and were 
drawn up in double ranks. 

A larger number had assembled during the night, the roll had been 
duly called, and some had answered to their names for the last time on 
earth. They had been ordered to load with powder and ball, and after 
waiting with intense anxiety for several hours the return of their com- 
panions sent forth to reconnoitre, (and no certain intelligence of the march 
of the British troops having reached them,) they were dismissed, to ap- 
pear again at beat of drum. When Major Pitcairn, therefore, at the head 
of a British column came in sight, about sixty only of the militia were 
under arms. To engage an army of eight hundred disciplined soldiers 
under such circumstances would have been madness. To fly at their 
approach they disdained. 

The British troops on their march thither had heard the old New-Eng- 
land drums beat to arms. They had heard them before at Louisburgh, at 
Quebec, at Martinique, and at the Havana, and there were ofllicers in 
the British line that knew the sound ; they had heard it in the deadly 
breach, beneath the black, deep-throated engines of the French and Span- 
ish castles, and knew what followed when that sound went before.* 
- Seeing a company of militia drawn up on the green, this legion of Eng- 
land's proud chivalry rushed furiously on. Their commander, with min- 
gled threats and execrations, ordered the little band of patriots to lay 
down their arms and disperse, and at the same time, the British troops to 
'fire ; — a moments delay, as of compunction, followed. The order was 
repeated with vehement impi-ecations. and they fired. No one fell. The 
little band of self-devoted heroes, most of whom had never seen an armed 
troop before^ stood firm in front of an army of ten times their number. 
Another volley succeeded, and several dropped, some of them killed and 
others wounded. The fire was returned, and the Lexington militia, by an 
overwhelming force, were di'iven from the field. A scattering fire suc- 
ceeded while the militia were yet in sight, and when no longer visible, the 
eight hundred British regulars fired a volley, and gave a shout in honor 
of their victory. 

" The genius of America, awakened by its echo on this, the morning 
of her emancipation, rose on the wings of battle, and in a voice of pro- 
phetic fulness, proclaimed on every hill and in every valley of our wide, 
expanded Republic, that the invisible tie, the last ligament that bound the 
descendants of England to the land of their fathers, was severed for 

* Everett. 


Lexington thus opened on the 19th of April, 1775, the first scene in. the 
great drama which, in its progress, exhibited the most illustrious charac- 
ters which have appeared on any stage, and closed with a revolution, not 
only glorious to its actors, but important to the world. 

The Saxon race at that time had scarcely crossed the Alleghanies, ex- 
cept for purposes of traffic, of war, and the chase. Some hunters, how- 
ever, of Kentucky, a short time before, had erected their cabins near a 
remarkable spring, " over the mountains and far away," and hearing, in 
their retreat, of the battle of Lexington and its cause, " in prophetic com- 
memoration of the event, gave to their little encampment the name of 
Lexington." Hence the origin of Lexington, in Kentucky. 

Liberty, hitherto regarded as a fabled goddess, existing only in imag- 
ination, was now entlironed as a real divinity. Her altars rose on every 
hand, and the hunter, the planter, the merchant, and the yeomen through- 
out the whole length and breadth of the United Colonies, bowed with def- 
erential homage at her shrine. 

" Freedom's battle once begun, 
Bequeathed by bleeding sire to son. 
Though baffled oft, is always won." 

The population of Illinois was then about the same as when ceded to 
England ; that is, about three thousand, mostly French and Catholics. A 
small English garrison was stationed at Kaskaskia, another at Cahokia, 
one at Saint Vincents or Vincennes, in Indiana, one at Detroit, and an- 
other at Mackinaw. 

The English, by promises and presents, had finally succeeded in paci- 
fying the savages, and the Western Indians, fearful of new and other en- 
croachments upon their lands, and being paid for scalps, and supplied by 
the English traders with arms, ammunition and money, became, henceforth, 
the allies of England. For what purpose, and with what effect, remains- 
to be seen. 

The first English, or rather Amei'ican settlements west of the Alleghany 
mountains, with the exception of a few trading-posts on the Ohio, were 
made in Kentucky. Among its first settlers, we find the names of John 
Finley, and of Daniel Boone, " who, on the first of May, 1769, left his 
peaceable habitation on the Yadkin river, in North Carolina," and on the 
seventh of .Tune following, " from the top of an eminence saw the beauti- 
ful level of Kentucky," and " the buffaloes browsing on the leaves, and 
cropping the herbage on its extensive plains." We find also the name 
of John Stewart, "the first victim offered by the Indians to the god of bat- 
tles," in the desperate and ruthless war of Kentucky. Also the name of 
Colonel James Knox, who led a party thither, which, by their long ab- 
sence, obtained "the name of the Long Hunters." We find also the 
names of Taylor, and the Mac A fees, renowned in Indian warfare, who 
came thither in May, 1773 ; and of Thomas Bullet, who, arriving at an 
Indian village undiscovered, till he was seen waving his white flag in 


token of peace ; and being^ asked why he did not send on a runner to 
announce his approach, said, " He had come among his brothers to have 
a friendly talk with them ; that he had no runner swifter than himself, 
and that he was in haste, and could not wait the return of a runner. 
Would you," said he, " if you were hungry, and had killed a deer, 
send your squaw to town to tell the news and wait her return before you 
eat ?" We find, also, the names of John Floyd, Simeon Kenton, and 
James Harrod, who built the first log-cabin in Kentucky, at Harrod's 
town. Hugh McGary, Richard Hogan, Thomas Denton, John Harmon, 
James Ray, and last and most conspicuous of all, George Rogers Clarke, 
who came thither from Virginia, in 1775, to entwine " his memory with 
honor as lasting as the country brought by his genius under the Ameri- 
can arms." General Ray, in speaking of Clarke's first visit to Kentucky, 
says, " when a lad of sixteen, he had killed a small, blue-winged duck, 
that was feeding in his spring ; and having roasted it nearly, at a fire 
about twenty steps east from his house, he had taken it off to cool, when 
he was suddenly acosted by a fine, soldierly-looking man, who asked him 
his name, and if he was n't afraid to be alone in the woods ? After sat- 
isfying his inquiries," says General Ray, " I invited him to partake of 
my duck, which he did, without leaving me a bone to pick ; his appetite 
was so keen, I then inquired of the stranger his name and business in 
this region. ' My naine,' said he, ' is Clarke. I have come out to see 
what your brave fellows are doing in Kentucky, and to lend you a help- 
ing hand if necessary.' " This was in 1775. 

Hostilities had no sooner commenced between England and her re- 
volted colonies, than the tomahawk was again unburied ; and the savages 
roused to vengeance by the promises of England, and stimulated by the 
arms, ammunition, and clothing supplied by her agents, became once 
more to the frontier settlers a formidable foe. The tremendous struggle 
that now raged from Georgia to Maine, involving everything dear to a 
free and generous people, demanded, of course, their whole energies on the 
Atlantic coast. No visible means, therefore, existed for the defence of so 
remote, and apparently so defenceless a frontier. When, however, the 
will exists, means are always at hand. Every man, woman and child, 
becomes then a hero, and every defile a Thermopylse. 

The policy of England in employing the savages, has frequently been 
questioned ; and their conduct in doing so against their own kindred, uni- 
versally condemned. When France, in the war of 175j, resorted to 
Indian aid, and the merciless savage accompanied her armies, laying 
waste whole settlements with fire and sword, the British people were loud 
in their complaints. No sooner, however, did opposition to parliamentary 
oppression array itself in the colonies, than they were threatened with 
savage vengeance, and Indian alliances were the theme of every tongue. 
We ought not, however, from thence to infer that the English were sav- 
ages. We are aware 


" If self the wavering balance shake, 
It 's rarely right adjusted." 

England has often been charged with keeping a pair of scales to weigh 
Tier neighbors ; and was her conduct to be tested by those moral precepts 
which she professes to inculcate, and were her actions, during the last 
century, to be weighed in the great moral scales which she herself has 
erected, it is to be feared that her arm of the balance, like that of which 
Milton speaks, and with which it would be indecorous, perhaps, to com- 
pare England, 

" Would be seen aloft." 

The conduct of England, from the very commencement of hostilities, 
and before, was marked with peculiar atrocity. Some of it would have 
disgraced their " friends and allies " the Indians, and caused even the 
latter to blush. The sexton who lighted the lanterns on the North Church 
steeple in Boston, to apprise the Americans of the march of British troops 
from town, was arrested " two days thereafter, while discharging the 
duties of his office at a funeral, tried, and condemned to death ; but 
respited on a threat from General Washington, and finally exchanged.* 

A pamphlet was published in England previous to the commencement 
of hostilities, "in answer to the resolutions and addresses of the American 
Congress,'"' by a person of high literary attainments, and as some pretend, 
of a respectable moral character, in v/hich sentiments were uttered that 
would disgrace a barbarian. That person, too, was the hireling of a 
Christian prince, and the effort itself, a signal prostitution of learning at 
the foot of a tyrant and his coadjutors — demanding, in imperative terms, 
the execration of Christendom. I allude to a pamphlet written by the 
celebrated Doctor Johnson, in 1775, entitled, " Taxation no Tyranny." 

" A merchant's desire," says he, in the pamphlet above referred to, 
" is not of glory, but of gain — not of public wealth, but of private emolu- 
ment. He is therefore rarely to be consulted about war and peace, or 
any designs of wide. extent and distant consequence." 

" A charter," continues this pamphleteer, " which experience has 
shown to be detrimental, is to be repealed — because general property 
must always be preferred to particular interest." '■'Let us," says this 
distinguished moralist, "give the Indians arms and teach them discipline, 
and encourage them noio and then to plunder a plantation." 

" If their obstinacy (meaning the Americans,) continues, it may per- 
haps be molified by turning out the soldiers to free quarters." 

And again — " It has been proposed that the slaves should be set free, 
an act which the lovers of liberty cannot but commend." " If they are 
furnished with fire-arms for defence, and utensils for husbandry, and set- 
tled in some simple form of government within the country, they may be 
more grateful and honest than their masters." 

* Everett. 


The idea of providing arms for the Indians, of teaching them disci- 
pline, and encouraging them " now and then to plunder a plantation " 

the idea of " turning out British soldiers to free quarters " — and the idea 
of holding out inducements to slaves, (brought hither by English legisla- 
tion, in opposition to the acts of provincial assemblies,) to rise upon their 
masters, require no comment here. That attempts were afterward made 
to effect all this, and even more, is but too true — and that such attempts 
were signally defeated, is equally so. 

The concluding paragraph of this celebrated pamphlet (being pro- 
phetic,) we insert entire : 

" If we (says Doctor Johnson,) are allowed upon our defeat to stipulate 
conditions, I hope the treaty of Boston will permit us to import into the 
confederated cantons such products as they do not raise, and such manu- 
factures as they do not make and cannot buy cheaper from other nations, 
paying like others the appointed customs ; that if an English ship salutes 
a fort with four guns, it shall be answered at least with two ; and that if 
an Englishman be inclined to hold a plantation, he shall only take an oath 
of allegiance to the reigning powers, and be suffered, while he lives inof- 
fensively, to retain his own opinions of English rights unmolested in his 
conscience by an oath of abjuration." 

The author, it seems, in the last sentence prophesied correctly, with 
two exceptions only : The oath of abjuration, as well as the oath of 
allegiance, is in most cases required ; and in firing salutes gun for gun is 
always exchanged, in order that Americans may never be out-done in 
courtesy. In cases of war, American vessels, it is said, do something 

Doctor Johnson, though exceedingly learned, mistook, as he says of 
Junius, " the venom of the shaft for the vigor of the bow ;" and his pam- 
phlet convinced those only who had no doubts before. It is true, an Eng- 
lish Parliament thought as he did, or rather he thought as Parliament did, 
and when the addresses and resolutions of Congress came up for discus- 
sion, in 1775, the Earl of Chatham rose in the House of Peers, and said : 

" When your lordships look at the papers transmitted us from America, 
when you consider their daring firmness and wisdom, you cannot but 
respect their cause and wish to make it your own. For myself, I must 
declare and avow, that in all my reading and observation, and it has been 
my favorite study — I have read Thucydides, and have studied and ad- 
mired the master states of the world — that for solidity of reasoning, force 
of sagacity, and wisdom of conclusion, under such a complication of diffi- 
cult circumstances, no nation or body of men can stand in preference to 
the General Congress of Philadelphia." 

And when the question in relation to the employment of savages, which 
Doctor Johnson had recommended, came up for discussion, the same noble 
earl, in reply to Lord Suffolk, then secretary for the northern depart- 
ment, said : " My lords, we are called upon as members of this house, as 
men, as Christian men, to protest against such sentiments coming near the 
throne, polluting the ear of majesty." 


The speech, however, of Lord Chatham, notwithstanding its ability, was 
entirely lost. A charaiel had been formed in the English mind, and 
neither truth nor justice, reason nor benevolence, could assuage the tor- 
rent, or divert its raging billows from their course. That was left for 
George Rogers Clarke, a young man of twenty-five, hitherto unknown, "a 
hunter of Kentucky," and other kindred spirits on this side of the Atlantic. 
Clarke saw at once the cause of Indian ravages, and traced them, as he 
supposed, with unerring certainty to the British settlements at Detroit, at 
Vincennes, and Kaskaskia. Their heart-rending devastations early in 
'77, approached near to his dwelling. The cries of women and children, 
expiring in agony, were then wafted on every breeze, and mingled with 
every echo from the forest and the prairie. He roused, therefore, his 
friends and neighbors to arms, and, like other hardy pioneers, sighed for 

Possessing tliat quick and accurate perception — that instant decision — 
that fruitful resource — that influence over others, and that confidence in 
himself, which accompany genius, and unite in forming the victorious 
commander ; he was fitted, apparently by Providence, for the troubled 
scenes that revolutions engender. No matter whether the theatre be 
great or small — an empire or an Indian station — the intellect of such a 
person leads him to command, as surely as such qualities lead him to 

In 1777, Harrod's station, in Kentucky, was attacked by the Indians ; 
George Rogers Clarke, however, was there, and among others, a young 
man by the name of James Ray, (afterward General Ray,) the same who 
had escaped massacre, when a brother was shot, by outrunning the war- 
riors of Blackfish, a celebrated chief, and whose duck Clarke had so greed- 
ily devoured in 1775, both of whom were present, and aided in its defence. 
Ray and one M'Connel, a few days before, when shooting at a mark near 
the fort, were attacked by a party of warriors, and the latter killed upon 
the spot. Ray, a lad of seventeen, (every boy, it will be recollected, 
was then a hero,) perceiving the enemy at a distance, thought at first to 
avenge the murder of his friend; but finding himself attacked by a large 
body of savage warriors, who had crept up unseen, retreated with his usual 
speed, in a direction toward the fort, exposed during the time to a brisk 
fire from the enemy. On arriving thither, his friends did not dare to 
open the gate for his admission. Being thus exposed, pursued by savages, 
and refused shelter by his friends, he threw himself on the ground be- 
hind a stump, just large enough to protect his body, and lay for several 
hours under- the whole fire of the Indians, whose balls sometimes entered, 
and sometimes grazed the stump. In this perilous situation he remained for 
four hours, within seven steps of the fort ;— -his mother within, and in sight 
of her boy. What a spectacle ! A party of savages shooting at the son — 
the balls passing above, around, and on every side — the mother a spectator 
of the scene, and unable to affbrd him succor. In a moment of anguish, 
he exclaimed, so as to be heard by the garrison, " For God's sake ! dig a 


hole under the cabin-wall, and take me in." Strange as it may seem, 
the expedient was adopted, and the gallant youth thus saved to his 

'Tis needless here to remark, that the fort thus manned, was success- 
fully defended. During the attack, Clarke and Ray, each killed an Indian. 

The affair of Lexington, in Massachusetts, at the commencement of 
hostilities, and the battle of Bunker Hill, which occurred shortly there- 
after, tended in their results to show England and the world, that the 
subjugation of freemen was an arduous task. Although the battle of 
Long Island, the surrender of Fort Washington, the evacuation of Fort 
Lee, and the retreat of the American army, through New-Jersey, near 
the close of '76, led some to despair, and many to believe that the struggle 
was ended, and that further opposition to British authority was futile ; 
the victories of Trenton and Princeton, which immediately followed, at 
once operated like " a resurrection from the dead," and every arm was 
nerved to the conflict. The victory of Saratoga, which, in '77, burst 
upon the world in a blaze of glory, broke " the spell of British regulars," 
and convinced the whole of Europe, that America was " as powerful in 
arms as she had been humble in remonstrance." 

The alliance with France which succeeded the latter — whether to hum- 
ble a proud and hated rival, or to gratify the feelings of wounded honor 
and mortified resentment ; or to advance, as by some is pretended, the 
cause of human freedom in this western hemisphere, it would be invidious 
here to inquire — presented an opportunity for extending the arms and in- 
fluence of the United Colonies to these (at that time) unexplored and dis- 
tant wilds. 

Clarke had witnessed the rise and progress of American colonization 
west of the mountains, and with instinctive genius foresaw the glory that 
would await the extension of American conquests beyond the Ohio. The 
streams of Indian hostility, which had deluged the land of his adoption 
with horror, he knew would be dried up, and a counter influence among 
the savages at once be established. With these views, he determined im- 
mediately to raise a force and " to attack the foe," at a point too, where 
least expected. Impressed with its importance, in the fall of 1777, he 
sent two spies to Kaskaskia, (Moore and Dunn,) on purpose to reconnoitre. 
Returning from thence, they reported that great activity prevailed among 
the French population in that quarter — that the Indians were encouraged 
by its inhabitants generally, and by the English agents more particularly, 
in their predatory excnrsions — and that the French and Indians had been 
told by English traders and others, and the fact was generally believed, 
that the Virginians were more barbarous than the savages themselves. 
They also reported, that strong evidence of affection for the Americans 
existed among some of its inhabitants. 

Having thus gained the information he sought, Clarke hastened to Wil- 
liamsburg, the capital of Virginia, and opened his plan " for the Illinois 
campaign" to Patrick Henry, then Governor of the State. His ardent 


and impressive representations excited an interest about the capital, and 
the governor was captivated with the thought of strilcing an important 
blow against the enemy fifteen hundred miles distant, in the centre of 
their savage allies. The service, however, was exceedingly hazardous, 
and the attempt daring in the extreme. To insure even a prospect of 
success, the utmost secrecy was indispensable ; and the plan, therefore, 
could not be submitted even to the Legislature. A few prominent indi- 
viduals, however, were consulted, and among others, George Wythe, 
George Mason, and Thomas Jefferson. Clarke, then apparently a lad,, 
(though in his twenty-fifth year,) being asked by the gentlemen above 
named, what he would do in case of a repulse, (which seemed probable,) 
" Cross," said he, " the Mississippi, and seek protection from the Span- 
iards." After several interviews with the governor and council, his in- 
tended expedition was highly approved of, and the patriotic gentlemen 
we have mentioned, having pledged themselves in writing, to obtain from 
the Legislature (in case of success,) a bounty of three hundred acres of 
land for every person who should enlist and accompany the expedition — 
and the governor having advanced to Colonel Clarke twelve hundred 
pounds in depreciated currency, and given him authority to raise seven 
companies of militia, of fifty men each, officered in the usual manner; 
and an order on the commandant of Fort Pitt for ammunition, etc., and 
two sets of instructions, one public, directing him to proceed to Kentucky 
for its defence ; and the other, to attack the British post at Kaskaskia, in 
Illinois ; he set off on the 4th of February, 1778, as he says, " clothed 
with all the authority he could wish," — to plant the banners of the Re- 
public on the banks of the Mississippi. 

The instructions given by the governor to Colonel Clarke, considering 
the provocations which then existed, are an honor to human nature. "It 
is," said Governor Henry, " earnestly desired that you show humanity to 
such British subjects and other persons as fall into your hands." " If the 
inhabitants of Kaskaskia and its neighborhood give evidence of their 
attachment to this State, (for it is certain they live within its limits,) let 
them be treated as fellow-citizens, and their persons and property duly 
secured," but if otherwise, '• let them feel the miseries of war, under the 
direction of that humanity which has hitherto distinguished the Ameri- 
cans, and which, it is expected, you will ever consider as the rule of your 
conduct, and from which you are in no instance to depart." 

What a commentary on the acts of the British Parliament and the con- 
duct of the British king. When the hired mercenaries of the latter were 
layin,o- waste our seaboard with fire and sword, and the merciless savage, 
encouraged by his bounty, was scalping women and children along an 
extended frontier of two thousand miles ; and the best and bravest of 
American patriots were perishing for want of food, in prison-ships and in 
dungeons ; the Governor of Virginia, " a rebel," who fifteen years before 
had been an obscure practitioner at the bar in the county of Louisa, was 


erecting to his memory a monument of glory, beneath whose shade "kings 
will moulder and dynasties be forgotten." 

Colonel Clarke, on arriving at Fort Pitt, (Pittsburgh,) met with some 
difficulties on account of its disputed dominion, it being claimed at that 
time by Pennsylvania and Virginia. His public instructions having been 
exhibited, and being precluded, as he thought, from exhibiting any others, 
some pretended that the sending of troops to Kentucky would be a wanton 
and unnecessary diversion of strength. Others thought it would be better 
to remove the Kentuckians, than to weaken the adjacent country by 
attempting their defence. 

The idea, however, of removing the Kentuckians, " as so many chat- 
tels," met with little encouragement. " The innate vigor, the indomitable 
energy " of backwoodsmen could not have been maturely weighed, or the 
project would never have been thought of. 

While these discussions were progressing. Colonel Clarke received let- 
ters from Major Smith, informing him that he had raised four companies 
for the expedition, in the settlements upon the Holstein, and that the 
strength of Kentucky had increased considerably since he left it. This 
intelligence, coupled with certain knowledge that Captain Helm's and 
Captain Bowman's companies would join him on the Monongahela, made 
him less urgent in levying troops in and about Pittsburgh, than before. 
He therefore left the latter, with three companies only, and a considera- 
ble number of " families and private adventurers." On arriving at the 
mouth of the Great Kanawa, he was urged by Captain Arbuckle, who 
commanded a little fort on the Ohio, which had been attacked the day 
before by a party of two hundred and fifty Indians, who had now directed 
their course to the settlements upon the Greenbrier, to join in their pur- 
suit. Plowever great the temptation, the importance of his own expedi- 
tion he thought was still greater ; and therefore continued his course, till 
he reached the mouth of the Kentucky. Here he landed, and thought at 
first of erecting a fort, but on further reflection, abandoned the intention 
for a position more desirable at the Falls of the Ohio. On reaching the 
latter he halted, and fortified Corn Island, opposite Louisville. The Ohio 
boatmen, being there detained for the purpose of making preparations to 
pass the rapids, were frequently attacked by the savages. Colonel Clarke 
thought, therefore, and correctly, that a fort in that vicinity would guard 
the boatmen against future attacks ; and Corn Island was thereupon 
selected and fortified, as well to protect the boatmen, as to secure his little 
detachment against surprise. 

He had previously learned, with extreme mortification, that Captain 
Dillard's comp.tny alone, of the four companies promised by Major Smith, 
had arrived in Kentucky. He thereupon wrote to Colonel Bowman, 
informing the latter that he intended to establish a post at the Falls, and 
fMving in view an object of great importance to the country, desired him to 
repair thither with all the men enlisted by Smith, and as many more as 
could be spared. On the arrival of Colonel Bowman's party, it was 



found that the country was too weak to justify the withdrawing of many 
troops from thence. Clarke therefore engaged but one company, and 
about half of another, from that quarter, expecting them to be replaced by 
those recruited by Smith. 

Here Colonel Clarke disclosed to the troops his real destination ; and 
however strange it may seem at the present day, the information was 
received by the whole detachment (except Dillard's company,) with rap- 
turous applause. Avarice had not then closed the avenues to human 
sympathy, nor had a desire for wealth benumbed every faculty of the 
soul. The gallant sons of Kentucky thought with their commander, that 
the secret of Indian hostilities lay somewhere at the west, and demanded 
therefore to be conducted thither. 

Colonel Clarke, intending to start on the next day, ordered the boats to 
be well secured, and sentinels to be stationed at every point where he 
supposed the Ohio fordable. Notwithstanding, however, these precautions,, 
it was discovered, before day, that a considerable portion of Captain Dil- 
lard's company, with a lieutenant, (whose name Colonel Clarke, in his 
journal, has spared,) had passed the sentinels unperceived, and reached 
the opposite shore. " The disappointment," says Clark, " was cruel, and 
its consequences alarming." A party, mounted on horseback, was dis- 
patched immediately for the deserters, with orders to " kill all who re- 
sisted." The fugitives were overtaken about twenty miles from thence, 
and with the exception of seven or eight who were brought back, dispersed 
themselves through the woods. After enduring every species of distress, 
they reached Harrod's town, where the people, swayed by that generous 
impulse which actuates noble and exalted minds, felt the baseness of the 
lieutenant's conduct so keenly, and resented it with such indignation, that 
on arriving at the fort, the lieutenant and his party were for some time 
refused admission. 

The troops sent by Clarke in search of the fugitives, having returned, a 
day of rejoicing was had between those who were about to descend the 
river for Kaskaskia, and those who were about to return to defend Ken- 
tucky — a duty of equal peril" and danger. 

After reviewing his little army of four companies, (the number in each 
is nowhere given,) commanded by Captains Montgomery, Helm, Bow- 
man and Harrod, and equipping them in the simplest Indian manner for 
a march across the country, (to mask his design) from the nearest point 
on the Ohio to Kaskaskia ; he passed the falls at Louisville on the 24th of 
June, 1778, during a remarkable eclipse of the sun, and descending the 
river to a point above Fort Massac, he landed his troof, • and concealed his 
boats, intending from thence to march through the State of Illinois by the 
nearest and most practicable route, to " the ancient French village of 

The eclipse above alluded to, though it occasioned some curious re- 
marks in his camp, did not excite that terror and alarm with which ar- 
mies in ancient times had been filled ; nor did it for a moment arrest hia 


progress. It served merely to fix the time, when the first army of the 
Republic descended the Ohio in search of a hostile foe.* 

Colonel Clarke had previously meditated an attack upon the British fort 
St. Vincent, (now Vincennes, in Indiana,) but on account of the insuffi- 
ciency of his force for that purpose, thought it safer to prosecute his orig- 
inal design. The vicinity of Kaskaskia to the Spanish settlements in 
Upper Louisiana, whither he proposed to retreat in case of a repulse, 
added force to this conclusion ; and the hope of attaching the French res- 
idents to the American interest, and through the influence of the former, 
which he knew to be extensive over the savages, give peace to an ex- 
tended and now bleeding frontier, after much reflection, induced him to 
persevere. - / 

While descending the Ohio, he was overtaken by a messenger from 
Colonel Campbell, of Fort Pitt, who apprised him that an alliance, offen- 
sive and defensive, had been entered into at Paris, between the United 
Colonies and the King of France, and that a fleet and army of the latter 
would shortly be sent hither. This circumstance, as subsequent events 
showed, became afterward important. He had scarcely landed and con- 
cealed his boats neaj Fort Massac, when a person by the name of John 
Duff, and a party of hunters, were stopped by his guard. Duff was an 
American by birth and was directly from Kaskaskia. With great free- 
dom, he now communicated to Colonel Clarke intelligence that was all 
important. Among other things, he stated that Mr. Rocheblave (or Roch- 
eblawe, as Mr. Jefferson writes it,) commanded there — that the militia 
were well disciplined — that sentinels were posted along the Mississippi — 
and that the Indians and hunters were ordered to keep a sharp look out 
for " the rebels," the Virginians or Big Knives, as they were sometimes 
called. He further stated, that the town had no regular garrison — that 
its military operations were matters only of parade, and that no one sup- 
posed it necessary to guard even against surprise — that the fort, however, 
which commanded the town was in good condition, and capable, in case 
of an attack, were it anticipated, of making, by the mere force of the 
place, a formidable resistance. He confirmed also the statements of 
Dunn and others sent thither before, in relation to the horrid apprehen- 
sions which the inhabitants entertained of Virginians. He stated further, 
that if they could reach Kaskaskia without discovery, success he thought 
would be certain. Duff and his party offei'ed their services, and sought 
to be employed. The offer was accepted — the information, thus obtained, 
acceptable, and every circumstance indicated a prosperous issue. 

The dread and horror in which the Virginians were regarded by the 
inhabitants of Kaskaskia and its vicinity, Clarke resolved immediately to 
enlist into his sei-vice, and to employ it as an auxiliary to his little army — 
an expedient worthy of a Hannibal. 

* It will be found by referring to Ferguson's tables, that an eclipse of the sun happened 
in 1778, and on the 24th of June in that year. 

16* ■ 


On the last day of June, the party, with its commander at their head, 
sharing in every respect the condition of his men, started in a northwest 
direction for Kaskaskia. Its distance was one hundred and thirty miles, 
and the iatervening country being low and flat, intersected by numerous 
streams, and covered with luxuriant vegetation, and being also without 
roads or bridges and in a state of nature, was, except to backwoodsmen, 
almost impassable. Through this region the intrepid leader of this gal- 
lant band marched on foot, with " his rifle upon his shoulder and his pro- 
visions upon his back ;" sustaining two days' march, after his provisions 
were exhausted, till on the evening of the 4th of July, he arrived within a 
few miles of Kaskaskia. Their march, though arduous, was attended 
with no peculiar difficulties, other than what were common in those days 
of privation ; perhaps none beyond the ordinary suflferings which accom- 
pany military expeditions through forests, where game and water are 

A circumstance, however, happened on the third day of his march, 
which excited for the time some considerable emotion, and led almost to 
a disastrous issue. 

John Saunders, the principal guide, lost his way, and got so bewildered 
that he was unable to direct their course. Suspicion was at once excited 
in relation to his fidelity, and a cry immediately arose among the men to 
"put the traitor to death.'' He sought, however, and obtained permission 
of the colonel to go into the prairie and try to recover himself. The ap- 
plication was granted, and a guard appointed to accompany him thither, 
by whom he was told, that if he did not conduct the detachment into the 
hunters' road to Kaskaskia, which he had frequently described and trav- 
elled, and which led through a country that no woodsman could well for- 
get, he should be hanged. After searching a considerable time, the poor 
fellow discovered a spot that he recollected, and his innocence was at 
once established. 

On arriving near Kaskaskia, they waited till dark, wlien they continued 
their march. There stood at that time on the west side of the river, and 
about three-quarters of a mile above the village, a small house, into 
which the Americans first entered, and there learned that the "militia had 
been called out the day before ; but as no cause of alarm existed, they 
had been dismissed, and that everything was quiet — that there was a 
great number of men in the town, and but few Indians ; the greater part 
having recently gone." Some boats were immediately procured, and 
two divisions of the party crossed the river, with orders to repair to differ- 
ent parts of the village, while Colonel Clarke himself, with the third divis- 
ion, was to take possession of the fort on the east side of the river, 
commanding the town. Orders were given, that in case Clarke's division 
should succeed, and the fort should be taken without resistance, the two 
divisions on the west bank of the river, on a signal given for that purpose, 
should possess with a shout certain quarters of the town ; and that persons 
who could speak French should be sent in every direction, and give notice 


to the inhabitants^ "that every man who should appear in the streets 
would be shot down." These dispositions were attended with complete 
success — the fort was taken — Clarke entered it by a postern gate on the 
river side left open, "directed thither by a soldier he had taken prisoner 
the evening before." The town was at once surrounded and every ave- 
nue guarded, so as to prevent the transmission of intelligence from thence 
and in. about "two hours, the inhabitants were disarmed without blood- 

Troops had been enlisted, officered, and equipped, transported one thou- 
sand three hundred miles by land and water, through a wilderness coun- 
try, inhabited by the allies of England; and marched into a garrisoned 
town, without the slightest resistance, and without suspicion that such a 
movement was in contemplation. The difficulty of making such a jour- 
ney now, from Virginia to Kaskaskia, aided by all the improvements 
which modern times have suggested, is considerable ; but, when we con- 
sider what it must have been sixty-five years ago, without roads, without 
bridges, and almost without boats to navigate the rivers ; and when we 
consider, also, the difficulty of transporting provisions and ammunition 
through a wild, uninhabited, and hostile region, we cannot but admire the 
conduct of its leader, and pronounce his exploit, " a brilliant military 

Colonel Clarke was a man of few words — his merit consisted principally 
in deeds. The speech, however, he made to his troops on arriving at 
Kaskaskia, was " brief and pointed ;" and we should do him great injus- 
tice were we to omit it here. 

The speeches which Livy puts into the mouths of his heroes, no matter 
whether genuine or not, are frequently admired ; why not follow his 
example ? 

McDonald, who commanded a regiment of Highlanders in the English 
army, under Sir Ralph Abercombie in Egypt, at the battle of the Pyra- 
mids, when the French troops were approaching, addressed his gallant 
followers in a speech, v.'hich has often, and we think very justly, been 
admired : 

" Ye are," said he, " the muckle lads of Scotland, and I am Donald 
McDonald, your chief — yonder are Bonaparte's invincibles ; but ye are 
to convince them, this day, that they are vincible — so out with your 
muckle whangers." 

•' Yonder," said General Starke, at the battle of Bennington, " are the 
•red-coats ; ere the sun goes down they must be ours, or Molly Starke 
sleeps a widow to-night." 

Colonel Clarke's speech at Kaskaskia was not only more brief, but 
more pithy than either. It consisted of but one sentence, so condensed as 
to convey, without circumlocution, the precise idea he intended. " The 
town," said he, "is to be taken at all events." * And it was taken. 

* Hall's Sketches of the West. 


The dread and horror which the name of Virginians had created, now 
came to his aid. It was, perhaps, one of the most innocent stratagems of 
war that could have heen devised ; and although painful and alarming to 
the inhabitants for the time being, the occasion unquestionably justified 
its use, and the effect was astonishing. 

During the night Clarke ordered his troops, in small parties, to patrol 
the town in eveiy possible direction, making the utmost tumult, and 
whooping after the Indian fashion — while the inhabitants, shut up in their 
houses, preserved the most perfect silence. 

Tlie British governor, Mr. Rocheblave, was taken in his chamber 
during the night. The public papers, however, had been destroyed or 
secreted by his wife ; and it was thought "ten thousand times better" to 
forego the advantages arising from their possession, than that " a gallant 
son of Virginia" should "tarnish the ancient fame of his State," by offer- 
ing an insult to a female. Although many important papers were sup- 
posed to be concealed in her trunks, they were " honorable respected, and 
not even examined." It is, we believe, the first instance on record, 
where gallantry has been carried so far. 

Efforts were made during the night to obtain intelligence of the situa- 
tion and force of the British and their allies in the vicinity, but with little 
success. A considerable body, however, of Indians, it was early ascer- 
tained were encamped at Cahokia, about fifty miles from thence, up the 
river ; and that Monsieur Cere, the principal merchant at Kaskasia, an 
inveterate enemy of the American cause, was then at St. Louis, on his 
way to Quebec, from whence he had lately returned, to prosecute exten- 
sive operations. The family of Monsieur Cere were in Kaskaskia, and 
a large stock of his merchandise ; and Colonel Clarke, deeming his influ- 
ence important in the (then) state of affairs, thought, by means of these 
pledges in his power, to obtain the good opinion of this opulent and re- 
spectable merchant. A guard was thereupon stationed about his house, 
and seals were put upon his property, as well as upon the whole mer- 
chandise of the place. On the day after the surrender, the troops were 
all withdrawn, and stationed in different positions about the town. All in- 
tercourse with the soldiers was strictly forbidden, and those sent for by 
Clarke were forbidden to converse even with each other. The whole 
town was at once overspread with terror. In presence of an enemy, of 
whom the inhabitants entertained the most horrid apprehensions, all in- 
tercourse with each other and their conquerors strictly forbidden, the 
most gloomy forebodings filled every bosom. After the troops had been 
removed, the inhabitants were permitted to walk about as before. Con- 
gregating, however, together, and being seen by their conquerors appar- 
ently in earnest conversation, some of their number, and among them the 
principal militia officers, were arrested by Colonel Clarke, and put in irons, 
without assigning any reason for so doing, and without permitting them 
to speak in their own defence. The consternation which had hitherto 
prevailed, was now increased ; and neither mercy nor compassion any 


longer expected. At last, when hope had nearly vanished, Monsieur 
Gibault, the priest of the village, and five or six elderly gentlemen, ob- 
tained permission to wait on Colonel Clarke. Surprised, as they had 
been, by the sudden capture of their town, and by such an enemy as their 
imagination had painted, they were still more so when admitted to his 
presence. Their clothes were dirty, and torn by the briers, and their 
whole appearance was frightful and savage. Those acquainted with the 
delicacy and refinement of the ancient French, can alone appreciate their 
embarrassed condition. It was some time after they were admitted into 
the room where Clarke and his officers were seated, before they could 
speak ; and not even then till their business was demanded. They first 
asked which was the commander • so effectually had the expedition con- 
founded all ranks and distinction. Colonel Clarke being pointed out, the 
priest, in a subdued tone, which indicated what he felt, said : '' That the 
inhabitants expected to be separated, never to meet again on earth, and 
they begged for permission, through him, to assemble once more in the 
church, to take a final leave of each other." Clarke, aware that they 
suspected him of hostility to their religion, carelessly told them, that he 
had nothing to say against their church ; that religion was a matter, 
which the Americans left every one for himself to settle with his God ; that 
the people might assemble in the church, if they wished, but they must 
not leave the town. Some further conversation was attempted ; but 
Clarke, in order that the alarm might be raised to its utmost height, re- 
pelled it with sternness, and told them at once that he had not leisure for 
further intercourse. The whole town immediately assembled at the 
church ; the old and the young, the women and the children, and the 
houses were all deserted. Strict orders in the meantime were given, 
that no dwelling, upon any pretence whatever, should be entered by the 
soldiers. The people remained in church for a long time — after which 
the priest, accompanied by several gentlemen, waited upon Colonel 
Clarke, and expressed, in the name of the village, " their thanks for the 
indulgence they had received." The deputation then desired, at the re- 
quest of the inhabitants, to address their conqueror on a subject which 
was dearer to them than any other. " They were sensible," they said, 
" that their present situation was the fate of war ; and they could submit 
to the loss of property, but solicited that they might not be separated from 
their wives and children, and that some clothes and provisions might be 
allowed for their future support." They assured Colonel Clarke, that 
their conduct had been influenced by the British commandants, whom 
they supposed they were bound to obey — that they were not certain that 
they understood the nature of the contest between Great Britain and the 
colonies — that their remote situation was unfavorable to accurate infor- 
mation — that some of their number had expressed themselves in favor 
of the Americans, and others would have done so had they durst. 
Clarke, having wound up their terror to the highest pitch, resolved now to 
try the effect of that lenity, whiah he had all along intended to grant. 


He therefore abruptly addressed them : " Do you," said he, " mistake us 
for savages ? I am almost certain you do from your language. Do you 
think that Americans intend to strip women and children, or take the 
bread out of their mouths ? My countrymen disdain to make war upon 
helpless innocence. It was to prevent the horrors of Indian butchery 
upon our own wives and children, that Ave have taken up arms, and pen- 
etrated into tl'is stronghold of British and Indian barbarity, and not the 
despicable prospect of plunder. That since the King of France had 
united his arms with those of America, the Avar, in all probability, would 
shortly cease. That the inhabitants of Kaskaskia, hoAvever, Avere at 
liberty to take Avhich side they pleased, without danger to themselves, 
their property, or their families. That all religions Avere regarded by 
the Americans Avith equal respect ; and that insult offered to theirs, Avould 
be immediately punished. And now," continued he, "to prove my sin- 
cerity, you Avill please inform your felloAv-citizens, that they are at liberty 
to go Avherever they please, Avithout any apprehension. That he Avas 
now convinced they had been misinformed, and prejudiced against the 
Americans, by British officers ; and that their friends in confinement 
should immediately be released." The joy of the village seniors, on 
hearing the speech of Colonel Clarke, may be imagined ; we Avill not, 
Jiowever, attempt to describe it. They stammered out some apology for 
their suspicions, and were about to remark that the property of a captured 
toAvn belonged to the conquerors. Colonel Clarke, hoAvever, dispensed 
with any explanations, and desired them to relieve the anxiety of their 
friends, and comply strictly Avith the terms of a proclamation he was 
about to issue. The contrast of feeling among the people, on learning 
these generous and magnanimous intentions of Colonel Clarke, verified 
his anticipations. The gloom Avhich had overspread the town Avas imme- 
diately dispersed. The bells rung a merry peal; the church was at 
once filled, and thanks offered up to God for deliverance from the terrors 
they had feared. Freedom to come and go, as they pleased, Avas imme- 
diately given ; knowing that their reports Avould advance the success 
and glory of his arms. 

Some uneasiness, however, was yet felt respecting Cahokia, the cap- 
ture of Avhich Colonel Clarke resolved to attempt, and gain in the same 
way, if possible. For that purpose, Major Bowman and his company 
were ordered thither. Some gentlemen, hoAvever, of Kaskaskia, ap- 
prised of his intentions, offered their services to effect Avhat Colonel Clarke 
had desired. They assured him that the people of Cahokia Avere their 
relations and friends, and they had no doubt of their acting in unison Avith 
them, Avhen the circumstances in which tliey Avere placed should be ex- 
plained. Major Bowman departed for this ncAv conquest, if conquest it 
could be called, in high spirits, Avith French militia officers at the head 
of his neAv allies. They reached Cahokia on the 6th, before the surren- 
der of Kaskaskia was known. The cry of '' the Big Knife," at first 
spread alarm, but it was allayed by the French gentlemen of Kaskaskia 


who accompanied the expedition ; and their former alarms were immedi- 
ately converted into huzzas for freedom and the Americans. The Brit- 
ish fort at Cahokia surrendered without a struggle ; the inhabitants in a 
few days took the oath of allegiance ; and the French and Americans 
were politically united. The Indian force near Cahokia was dispersed ; 
and the State of Illinois, destined to contain more than ten millions of 
people,, (by four companies of militia, and the prudence, energy, and skill 
of their commander,) without bloodshed, annexed to the Republic. 


Lieutenant Colonel Geor&e Rogers Clarke : 

You are to proceed, without loss of time, to enlist seven companies of men, officered in 
the usual manner, to act as militia under your orders. They are to proceed to Kentucky, 
and there to obey such orders and directions as you shall give them, for three months after 
their arrival at that place ; but to receive pay, etc., in case they remain on duty a longer 
time . , 

You are empowered to raise these men in any county in the Commonwealth ; and the 
county lieutenants, respectively, are requested to give you all possible assistance in that 

Given under my hand at WilUamsburg, January 2nd., 1778. 

P. Henry 

Virginia in Council, Williamsburg, Jan. 2nd., 1778. 
Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clarke : 

You are to proceed with ail convenient speed to raise seven companies of soldiers, to 
consist of fifty men each, officered in the usual manner, and armed most properly for the 
enterprise ; and with this force attack the British fort at Kaskaskia. 

It is conjectured that there are many pieces of cannon and military stores, to consider- 
able amount, at that place, the taking and preservation of which, would be a valuable ac- 
quisition to the State. If you are so fortunate, therefore, as to succeed in your expedition, 
you will take every possible measure to secure the artillery and stores, and whatever may 
advantage the State. 

For the transportation of the troops, provisions, etc., down the Ohio ; you are to apply 
to the commanding officer at Fort Pitt for boats ; and during the whole transaction, you 
are to take especial care to keep the true destination of your force secret — its success de- 
pends upon this. Orders are therefore given to secure the two men from Kaskaskia. 
Similar conduct will be proper in similar cases. 

It is earnestly desired that you show humanity to such British subjects and other per- 
sons, as fall in your hands. If the white inhabitants at that post and the neighborhood, 
will give undoubted evidence of their attachment to tliis State, (for it is certain they live 
within its hmits,) by taking the test prescribed by law, and by every other way and meaos 
in their power, let them be treated as fellow-citizens, and their persons and property duly 
secured. Assistance and protection against all enemies whatever shall be afforded them, 
and the Commonwealth of Virginia is pledged to accompUsh it. But if these people will 
not accede to these reasonable demands, they must feel the miseries of war, under the 
direction of that humanity that has hitherto distinguished Americans, and which it is ex- 
pected you will ever consider the rule of your conduct, and from which you are in no in- 
stance to depart. 

The corps you are to command, are to receive the pay and allowance of militia, and to 
act under the laws and regulations of this State now in force, as militia. The inhabitants 
at this post will be informed by you, that in case they accede to the offers of becoming 
citizens of this Commonwealth, a proper garrison will be maintained among them, and 


every attention bestowed to render their commerce beneficial, tae fairest prospects being 
opened to the dominions of France and Spain. 

■ It is in contemplation to establish a post near the mouth of Ohio. Caimon will be 
wanted to fortify it. Part of those at Kaskaskia will be easily brought thither, or other- 
wise secured, as circumstances will make necessary. 

You are to apply to General Hand for powder and lead necessary for this expedition.' 
K he can't supply it, the person who has that which Captain Lyim brought from Orleans, 
can. Lead was sent to Hampshire, by my orders, and that may be delivered yon. 
Wishing you success, I am, sir, 
Youi humble servant, 



Colonel Clarke contemplates the taking of Vincennes — The difficulties attending it — Es- 
tablishes courts in Kaskaskia and Cahokia— Becomes popular in both places — Mon- 
sieur Cere visits Kaskaskia — Takes the oath of Allegiance — Colonel Clarke receives a 
vote of thanks from the House of Burgesses, in Virginia — M. Gibault, the Catholic 
priest, goes to Vincennes — The latter surrenders — The inhabitants take the oath of 
allegiance to Virginia — Captain Helm appointed commandant, and " Agent for In- 
dian AiTairs in the Wabash" — County of Illinois organized — Colonel Todd appointed 
civil commandant — Justice administered in the name and by the authority of Vir- 
ginia — M. Rocheblave, late Governor of Kaskaskia, sent a prisoner to Virginia — 
His conduct prevents Colonel Clarke's intentions from being carried into effect — 
Captain Helm's reception in Kaskaskia — Tobacco, an Indian chief — Colonel Clarke 
reenlists his men — Establishes forts at Kaskaskia and Cahokia — Founds Louisville at 
the Falls of the Oliio — His mode of treating with the Indians — His first council with 
the Natives — His negotiations with the Meadow Indians — Extraordinary incident — 
Blackbird, a celebrated chief, visits Colonel Clarke at Kaskaskia — Big Gate, another 
warrior, also — Extraordinary interview — Colonel Hamilton, Governor of Detroit, 
reaches Vincennes with a large force — Recaptures the latter place — The whole Gar- 
rison, consisting of one officer, and one private, marched out with the honors of war — 
Intelligence of its surrender received at Kaskaskia, on the 29th of January, 1777 — 
An expedition for Vincennes sets out for the latter place, on the 7th of February, 
eight days thereafter — An army raised, officered and equipped, in that time — A naval 
armament also sails for the same place — Incidents on their march — Case of the Uttle 

drummer — They arrive at Vincennes — Vincennes is taken, February 24th, 1779 

Captain Helm appointed again to its command — Peace between England and the 
United States — Indian hostilities suspended — Governor Harrison's letter to Colonel 
Clarke — 'The latter ia discharged from service with thanks. 

Colonel Clarke, notwithstanding his brilliant and almost unexpected 
success at Kaskaskia and Cahokia, and notwithstanding the French 
.population were apparently attached to the American government, and 
republican principles, was not entirely at his ease. Aware of his del- 
icate situation, and the necessity of all his address to sustain the posi- 
tion he occupied, with honor to himself, and satisfaction to his country ; 
he fortified himself, by cultivating the most intimate relations with the 
Spanish authorities, on the west bank of the Mississippi ; and regarding 
Fort St. Vincents (now Vincennes,) as an important link in the chain of 
British influence, he sought to reduce it, if possible, into his possession 
The force, however, at his command, though "joined by every man in 
Kentucky," he supposed inadequate to the object, and was therefore com- 
pelled, against his wishes, to resort to -cMther means for its accomplishment 
thaa to military fbree. 


As a preliminary step, he taught his soldiers to speak of the Falls of the 
Ohio, as the head-quarters of his army, and of the troops which had ac- 
companied him to Kaskaskia, as a detachment only from the main body. 
He also gave notice, that reinforcements were daily expected, and that on 
their arrival, military movements upon an extended scale would immedi- 
ately take place ; this he considered necessary, to justify himself for 
having invaded Illinois with so small a force. He also established courts, 
(held by French judges elected by the people,) with a right of appeal to 
himself; these became popular, and aided essentially to confirm his 

In the meantime, M. Cere, the French merchant, (of whom we have 
already spoken,) unwilling to be longer separated from his family, and 
unwilling also that they alone should be kept in duress, became desirous 
of visiting Kaskaskia, the place of his former residence : deeming it, how- 
ever, unsafe to go thither without a protection, he procured a letter from 
the Spanish governor at St. Louis, and another from the Spanish com- 
mandant, at St. Genevieve, together with numerous recommendations from 
the most respectable citizens of each, to obtain the security he desired. 
Clarke, however, was inexorable ; the application was refused, and an in- 
timation thrown out, that the application need not be repeated. He, at 
the same time, told the messenger, that he understood M. Cere was " a 
sensible man," and if he was innocent of the charge of inciting the sav- 
ages against the Americans, he had nothing to apprehend. Soon after- 
ward, M. Cere, to whom these sentiments of Colonel Clarke had been 
communicated, repaired to Kaskaskia, and without visiting his family, 
waited immediately on Colonel Clarke. He was told by the latter, that he 
stood charged with inciting the savages to murder and devastations on 
the American frontiers ; that it was an affair which behoved every civ- 
ilized people to punish with the utmost severity, when such violators of 
honorable warfare were in their power ; and that if he was guilty of the 
offence charged, he must expect nothing from his lenity. 

M. Cere repelled the accusation with considerable warmth ; said he 
was a mere merchant, and had never interfered with matters of state, 
beyond what his business required ; that his remote situation had pre- 
vented him from understanding the merits of the controversy between 
Great Britain and her colonies ; that he defied any man to prove that he 
had encouraged Indian depredations ; and that he could produce many, 
who had known him condemn such cruelties in the most decisive terms. 
He at the same time remarked, that there were many in Kaskaskia in- 
debted to him, who might, perhaps, by his ruin, seek to discharge their 
pecuniary obligations. He courted, however, inquiry, and wished to see 
his accusers face to face. This was the very thing which the American 
commander desired. M. Cere, therefore, withdrew to another apart- 
ment, and Colonel Clarke sent for his accusers ; they attended immediately, 
followed by a large portion of the inhabitants of Kaskaskia. M. Cere 
was summoned to confront them. His accusers were apparently con- 


founded. Colonel Clarke; thereupon, told them that he had no disposition 
to condemn any person unheard. That M. Cere was now present, and 
that he (Clarke) was now ready to repair the injury which the civilized 
world had received at his hands, if guilty of the alleged crime. His ac- 
cusers began to whisper with each other, and retire, one by one, until a 
single individual only was left. Colonel Clarke called on him for his 
proof: he said he had none to produce; and M. Cere was thereupon 
honorably acquitted — not more, hoAvever, to his satisfaction, than to the 
satisfaction of Colonel Clarke, (who esteemed him highly,) and the nume- 
rous and respectable friends of the accused in Kaskaskia. He was then 
congratulated on his acquittal, and informed, that although it was desi- 
rable that he should become an American citizen ; unless he sincerely 
wished to do so, he was at liberty to dispose of his property and remove 
elsewhere. M. Cere, delighted with the frank and generous treatment 
of Colonel Clarke, at once took the oath of allegiance, and became there- 
after a valuable friend to America and her cause. 

Colonel Clarke, by policy, rather than by force, had now reduced all 
the British posts in Illinois ; and on the 23rd of November, 1778, received, 
together with his brave officers and men, from the House of D elegates of 
Virginia, a unanimous vote of thanks, " for their extraordinary resolution 
and perseverance in so hazardous an enterprise, and for the important 
service thereby rendered their country." 

The British post at Vincennes now occupied the thoughts of Clarke ; 
indeed it never was," as he says, " out of his mind." He therefore sent 
for M. Gibault, the Roman Catholic priest of Kaskaskia, (who was also 
priest of Vincennes,) and obtained all the intelligence he desired. M. 
Gibault informed him, that Governor Abbot had gone to Detroit, upon 
business ; and that the military expedition from the Falls to St. Vincents, 
of which Colonel Clarke had so frequently spoken, was wholly unneces- 
sary 1 and offered, if it met with Colonel Clarke's approbation, to take the 
business on himself;" he said, "he had no doubt of being able to bring 
that place over to the American interest without the trouble of sending a 
military force against it." The offer was accepted, and Doctor La Font 
was appointed as a temporal member of the embassy. On the 14th of 
July, the gentlemen above named, accompanied by a spy of Clarke's, set 
off for St. Vincents. An explanation took place between the priest and 
his flock, and in two or three days, the inhabitants threw off their alle- 
giance to the British authorities, and assembled in the church, and took 
an oath of allegiance to the Commonwealth of Virginia. A commandant 
was elected, and the American flag displayed, to the astonishment of the 
Indians. The savages were told, "that their old father, the King of the 
French, had come to life again, and was mad with them for fighting for 
the English ; and if they did not want the land to be bloody with war, 
they must make peace with the Americans." On the 1st of August, M. 
Gibault and party returned to Kaskaskia, with the intelligence, that 
everything was peaceably adjusted at St. Vincents, in favor of the Amer- 


ican cause ; and in August following, Captain Leonard Helm was ap- 
pointed by Colonel Clarke, commandant at St. Vincents, and " agent for 
Indian aiTairs, in the department of the Wabash." 

The Governor of Virginia having been apprised of Colonel Clarke's pro- 
ceedings ; and the appointment of a civil commandant being desired by 
the latter, to take charge of the political aiTairs of the secluded region, 
which had now submitted to his arms ; an act was passed in October, 
1778, to establish " the county of Illinois ;" it embraced all that part of 
Virginia west of the Ohio river, and was probably at the time the largest 
county in the world ; exceeding in its dimensions the whole of Great 
Britain and Ireland. Colonel John Todd received the appointment of 
civil commandant, and lieutenant-colonel of the county ; and justice was 
administered, for the first time, in the name and by the authority of the 

Captain Montgomery was sent to Virginia, with M. Rocheblave, the late 
British commandant, in charge. Colonel Clarke, intended to have resto- 
red to him his slaves, and to have rendered him other important services, 
and for that purpose invited him to a dinner, with a few officers and sev- 
eral friends. M. Rocheblave, however, called them a parcel of reb- 
els, and expressed himself with so much bitterness, that Colonel Clarke 
was compelled, against his wishes, instead of making him a recipient of 
his bounty, to send him to the guard-house, and from thence, a prisoner 
to Virginia. The idea of restoring his slaves being thus frustrated, they 
were afterward sold for five hundred pounds, and the avails divided among 
his ti'oops, as prize-money. 

Captain Helm, on reaching Vinceniies, was received by the French with 
acclamation. The Indians, confiding implicitly in the representations of 
the latter, said, " The Big Knife was in the right." Tobacco, a celebra- 
ted chief, jumped up, struck his breast, and said, " That he had always 
been a man, and a warrior ; that he was now a Big Knife, and would tell 
the Red people to bloody the land no more for the English." 

The church of Rome had seldom received, at the hand of Protestant 
conquerors, such generous treatment as had now been exhibited by Colonel 
Clarke ; and his beneficent administration, we have no doubt, aided mate- 
rially in propagating the American influence, and in extending the Amer- 
ican arms. 

Another difficulty now arose. Colonel Clarke's men had been enlisted 
only for three months, and the three months were about to expire. Avail- 
ing himself, however, of that discretionary power which officers, acting 
on so remote a stage, are compelled sometimes to assume ; and being un- 
willing to divest himself of those means on which he could rely with con- 
fidence in case of an emergency, he thought proper to strain his authority 
a little for the preservation of that interest for which it had been conferred, 
and, therefore, reenlisted his men, and at the same time raised an addi- 
tional company among the native inhabitants, commanded by their own 
officers. He also established a garrison at Kaskaskia, commanded by 


Captain Williams and another, at Cahokia, commanded by Captain Bow- 
man. Colonel William Linn, who had accompanied the expedition as 
a volunteer, returned with the remaining troops, and established a mil- 
itary post at the Falls of the Ohio. This was the origin of Louisville, 
the commercial emporium of Kentucky. 

The Indian tribes which then inhabited "the mighty West," were nu- 
merous and powerful. They were subject to be wrought upon by British 
traders, and to be influenced by British gold. Colonel Clarke had, there- 
fore, a difficult and arduous duty to perform, in the discharge of which 
his capacity to direct and control the minds of others, was just as appa- 
rent as before. 

He had studied the Indian character with unwearied diligence, and had 
made himself acquainted with the French and Spanish modes of treating 
them. He thought, and his subsequent policy was predicated on the im- 
pression that the inviting of the Indians to treat, was founded upon a mis- 
taken notion of the Indian character ; that such invitations were looked 
upon by them as evidence of fear, or weakness, and sometimes the result 
of both. He resolved, therefore, not " to spoil the Indians as the English 
had often done at treaties," but, on the contrary, to maintain the strictest 
reserve ; and when he gave presents, to do it with a niggardly hand, as 
though they had been wrung from him, instead of being spontaneous or 

His first council with these remote sons of the forest was somewhat re- 
markable. An account of it, therefore, deserves to be given. 

The parties having met, both white and red, the chief who was to open 
the council (the Indians, it will be observed, were the solicitors,) advan- 
ced to the table at which Colonel Clarke was sitting, " with the belt of 
peace in his hand ; another with the sacred pipe, and a third with fire to 
kindle it. After the pipe was lighted, it was presented to the heavens, 
then to the earth, and completing a circle, was presented to all the spir- 
its, invoking them to witness what was about to be done. The pipe was 
then presented to Colonel Clarke, and afterward to every person present." 
The speaker then addressed himself to the Indians. " Warriors, you 
ought to be thankful, that the Great Spirit has taken pity on you ,• has 
cleared the sky, and opened your ears and hearts so that you may hear 
the truth. We have been deceived by bad birds flying through the land, 
(meaning the British emissaries,) but we will take up the hatchet no more 
against the Big Knife, and we hope, as the Great Spirit has brought us 
together for good, as he is good, so we may be received as friends, and 
peace may take place of the bloody belt." The chief then threw down 
the bloody belt of wampum, and the flag which they had received of the 
British, and stamped upon them in token of their rejection. To this. Col- 
onel Clarke, guardedly replied, that he would think of it, and give them 
an answer the next day. In the meantime, he advised them to prepare 
for the result upon which their existence, as a nation, depended. He ad- 
vised them not to let any of his people shake hands with them, as peace 


was not yet made ; and It would be time to give them their hands when 
they could give them their hearts also. An Indian chief replied, that 
" such sentiments were like men who had but one heart, and did not speak 
with a forked tongue." The council then adjourned till the next day, 
when Colonel Clarke addressed " the men and warriors," as follows : " 1 
am a man and a warrior, not a councillor; I cany war in my right hand, 
and in my left peace. I am sent by the great council of the Big Kjiifej 
and their friends, to take possession of all the towns occupied by the Eng- 
lish in this country, and to watch the motions of the Red people. I am 
ordered to call upon the Great Fire for warriors enough to darken the 
land, so that the Red people may hear no sound but of birds who live on 
blood. I know there is a mist before your eyes. I will dispel the clouds, 
that you may clearly see the causes of the war between the Big Knife and 
the English ; then you may judge for yourselves which party is in the 
right : and if you are warriors, as you profess to be. prove it by adhering 
faithfully to the party which you shall believe to be entitled to your friend- 
ship, and not show yourselves to be squaws." After Colonel Clarke had 
explained, at considerable length, the cause of the difficulty between the 
Big Knife and the English, he said : " At last the Great Spirit took pity on 
us, and kindled a great council- fire that never goes out, at a place called 
Philadelphia. He there stuck down a post, and put a war tomahawk by 
it, and went away. The sun immediately broke out, the sky was blue 
again, and the old men held up their hands and assembled at the fire ; 
they took up the hatchet and put it into the hands of our young men, order- 
ing them to strike the English as long as they could find one on this side 
of the great waters. The young men immediately struck the war-post? 
and blood was shed. In this way the war begun, and the English were 
driven from one place to another, until they got weak, and then they 
hired you Red people to fight for them. The Great Spirit got angry at 
this, and caused your old father, the French king, and other great nations, 
to join the Big Knife, and fight with them against their enemies. You can 
now judge who is in the right. I have already told you who I am. Here 
IS a bloody belt and a white one ; behave like men, and do n't let your be- 
ing surrounded by Big Knives cause you to take up one belt with your 
hands while your hearts take up the other. If you take the bloody path 
vou shall leave the town in safety, and may go and join your friends, the 
English. We will then try, like warriors, who can put the most stum- 
bling blocks in each other's way, and keep our clothes longest stained with 
blood. As I am convinced you never heard the truth before, I do not 
wish you to answer until you have taken time to consult. We will, 
therefore, pan this evening, and when the Great Spirit shall bring us to- 
gether again, let us speak and think like men with but ' one heart and one 
tongue.' " 

The next day a new fire was kindled with more than usual ceremony, 
and the Indian speaker came forward and said : <' They believed the whole 
to be truth, as the Big Knife did not speak like any other people they had 


ever heard." They now saw they had been deceived, and that the Eng- 
lish had told them lies. They now believed that we were in the right. 
" They would now call in their warriors, and throw the tomahawk into 
the river, where it could never be found." 

The pipe was again kindled. It v^^as smoked ; and the council con- 
cluded by shaking hands among all the parties, white and red. In this 
manner other treaties were concluded, with a dignity and importance 
scarcely inferior to that of the alliance between France and the United 
States. In a short time Colonel Clarke's power and influence was so well 
consolidated, that a single soldier could be sent in safety through any 
part of the Wabash or Illinois country. The friendly disposition of the 
French traders and agents, and the stern and commanding influence of 
Clarke, gave to the American cause in the Illinois, a consideration which 
they have never acquired among savages from that to the present time. 

Among other negotiations, that with the Meadow Indians, (a party 
composed of stragglers from various tribes,) on account of its romantic 
character, deserves particular notice. 

A large reward had been promised them- in case they would put Col- 
onel Clarke to death. They therefore pitched their camp about a hundred 
yards from his quarters, and about the same distance from the American 
fort, on the same side of the Cahokia creek. It was then agreed, that 
part of them should cross the creek, which was about knee-deep, and fire 
their guns in a direction toward the Indian encampment, in Clarke's vicin- 
ity ; the Indians who had thus encamped, and were apparently attacked, 
under pretence of fleeing from their enemies, were then to seek admission 
into the fort, and put the whole garrison to death. 

About one o'clock in the morning, an attack was apparently made, and 
the flying party having discharged their guns, so as to throw suspicion 
upon their enemies on the opposite bank, ran directly to the camp of Col- 
onel Clarke for protection. Colonel Clarke, agitated by a variety of con- 
flicting emotions, arising from his extraordinary situation, was still au'ake,- 
and the guard, which was greater than the Indians had anticipated, pre- 
senting their pieces to the fugitives, compelled them to seek safety in their 
own encampment. The town and garrison in a moment were under 
arms ; and the Indians, who had thus sought protection, were sent for, 
and declared that their enemies had fired upon them across the creek. 
Some French gentlemen, however, who knew the Indians better than 
their conquerors, called for a light, and on examining the Indians, per- 
ceived that their moccasons and leggings were wet and muddy, from 
which it was evident that they had just crossed the creek. The discovery 
was appalling to the intended assassins, and in order to convince the In- 
dians, a large number of whom were in town, of the cordial understanding 
between the Americans and the French, Clarke ordered the culprits to be 
given up to the latter, to be dealt with as they thought proper. Secret in- 
timation, however, was given to the French, that it might perhaps be well 
to send their chiefs to the guard-house, and it was done accoi'dingly. 



They were there put in irons, and brought the next day into the council, 
without being suffered to speak until all the other business was transacted. 
Colonel Clarke then ordered their irons to be taken off, and told them 
" that they ought to die for their treacherous attempt upon his life ; that 
he had determined to put them to death, and they must be sensible they 
had forfeited their lives; but reflecting on the meanness of watching a 
bear, and catching him asleep, he had concluded that they were not war- 
riors, but old women, and too mean, therefore, to be killed by the Big 
Knife — but as they had put on breech-clothes, pretending to be men when 
they were women, he should order their breech-clothes to be taken off; 
and as women know nothing about hunting, a plenty of provisions should 
be given them for their journey home, and during their stay they should 
be treated in every respect like squaws." He then turned, and renewed 
a conversation with his friends in attendance. This treatment appeared 
to agitate the offending Indians exceedingly. One of their chiefs soon 
afterward arose, and offered a pipe and belt of peace to Clarke, and made 
a speech. Clarke, however, would not allow it even to be interpreted ; 
and a sword lying on the table, he took it up and broke the pipe, declaring, 
at the same time, that Big Knife never treated with women. Several 
chiefs belonging to the other tribes in attendance, immediately rose to in- 
tercede in their behalf, and desired Colonel Clarke to pity their families. 
Clarke, however, alive to the vulnerable features of the Indian character, 
told them " that the Big Knife had never made war upon the Indians, 
and that when Americans came across such people in the woods, they 
commonly shot them as they did wolves, to prevent their eating the deer." 
This mediation having failed, a consultation took place among themselves, 
and two of their young men, advancing into the middle of the floor, sat 
down, and flung their blankets over their heads to the astonishment of the 
whole assembly. Two of their most venerable chiefs then arose, and 
with a pipe of peace, stood by these self-devoted victims, and offered their 
lives as an atonement for the conduct of their tribe. " This sacrifice," 
said they, " we hope will appease the Big Knife :" and they again offered 
the pipe. This affecting and romantic incident, embarrassed even the 
ready mind of Clarke. The assembly was silent. Anxiety to know the 
fate of the victims, was depicted on every countenance. Such magna- 
nimity — such self-devotion, as these rude children of the forest exhibited, 
Colonel Clarke had never witnessed before ; and, as he says in his journal, 
from which the above is extracted, " he never felt so powerful a gust of 
emotion in his life." Retaining, however, his self-possession as well as 
he could, he ordered them to rise and uncover themselves, and said, " he 
rejoiced to find that there were men in all nations ; that such alone w ere 
fit to be chiefs, and with such he liked to treat ; that through them he 
granted peace to their tribes;" and taking them by the hand, he introduced 
them to the American officers, as well as to the French and Spanish gen- 
tlemen who were present, and afterward to the other Indian chiefs. They 
were saluted by all as chiefs of the tribe. A council was immediately 


held, with great ceremony ; peace was at once restored ; presents were 
distributed, and neither party had occasion to repent of their doings. 

Clarke was afterward informed, that these young men were held in high 
estimation among their people ; and that the incident above related, was 
much talked of among the natives. The siege of Calais, in the reign of 
the Third Edward, was thus fairly eclipsed. 

Roman history acquaints us with a Curtius, who leaped into the gulf to 
save his country ; and Grecian history with a Leonidas of Sparta, who 
" died in obedience to her sacred laws." It is, however, questionable, 
whether either displayed more self-devotion than these pure, unsophisti- 
cated children of nature, whose story has been handed down to us by one 
of the most sagacious of our embassadors to the Indian tribes, civil or mil- 
itary — George Rogers Clarke. 

At this time, a celebrated Ottawa chief, by the name of Saguinn or 
Blackbird, whose country bordered upon Lake Michigan, had acquired 
such reputation among his people, as to induce Colonel Clarke to depart 
from his usual policy, and by a special messenger, to request an inter- 
view with him at Kaskaskia. Blackbird was at St. Louis, when Clarke 
first invaded the country ; and having but little confidence in Spanish 
protection, had returned to his tribe. Previous, however, to doing so, he 
sent a letter to Colonel Clarke, apologizing for his absence. Blackbird 
having heard much of Clarke, without hesitation, accompanied by eight 
of his principal warriors, repaired immediately to Kaskaskia. Great 
preparations were at once made for holding a council ; which being no- 
ticed by Blackbird, he informed Colonel Clarke that he came on business 
of importance to both, and desired that no time might be lost in ceremo- 
nies. This sagacious chief told Colonel Clarke, that he wanted to con- 
verse with him for a long time, and would prefer sitting at the same table 
with him, to all the parade and formality in the world. A room was im- 
mediately prepared for this " straight-forward" chief, and his American 
cotemporary. Both took their seats at the same table, having each of 
them an interpreter by his side.* The conversation lasted for several 
hours, and Blackbird expressed his conviction, that the Americans were 
right ; and among other things, said, " the English must be afraid, be- 
cause they give the Indians so many goods to fight for them ; that his 
sentiments were fixed in favor of the Americans ; and he would no longer 
listen to the offers of the English." " On my return," said he, " I will 
put an end to the war; and call my young men in, and explain to them 
the nature of the controversy between the Big Knife and the English." 
He was immediately registered among the friends of the Big Knife, and 
continued ever afterward faithful to their interest. 

Clarke, in his intercourse with the Indians, was careful never to 
blame them for taking presents of the English ; which, in their poverty, 

* This interview may well be compared with one of a similar kind, between Sir Wil- 
liam Temple, the British minister, and the celebrated De Witt, at the Hague. 



and our inability to supply their wants, was unavoidable. The influence 
of commerce had previously been extended even to these distant and 
savage wilds, and had bound alike in her golden chains, the refined and 
polished citizen of Europe, and the "stoic of the woods." The rifle and 
its ammunition had long banished the bow and arrow, and other instru- 
ments of war ; and the beaver-trap, the camp-kettle, and the blanket, 
had become as necessary to the savage as the civilized man. While, 
however, he forbore to reproach them for receiving presents, he exerted 
his influence to impress upon them " the degradation of fighting for hire." 
"It is," said Clarke, in his address to them, "beneath the dignity of a 
warrior. The Big Knives look upon the scalps of warriors fighting their 
own battles, as trophies worthy of their renown ; but those of men fight- 
ino- for hire were given to children to play with, or flung to the dogs." 

Clarke, about this time, received an unexpected visit from Lages, or 
Louis, known among the white people as '•' Big Gate." Big Gate, when 
a youth, was with the celebrated Pontiac, when the latter besieged De- 
troit, and shot a British soldier standing in the fort ; hence the origin of 
his name. He had commanded, v/ith great success, several marauding 
expeditions against the American frontiers ; but happening to fall in with 
a party of Piankaskaws on their way to Kaskaskia, he thought he would 
go and see what the Americans had to say for themselves. With won- 
derful assurance, he appeared every day in council, seated in a con- 
spicuous place, dressed in a full war-dress, with the bloody belt he had 
received from the British, hanging about his neck. Having thus attended 
for several days, without exchanging a word with any one of the Ameri- 
cans, or they with him ; as the deliberations with those who had accom- 
panied him to Kaskaskia were about to terminate, Clarke addressed him. 
After apologizing for not noticing the silent chief until the public busi- 
ness was dispatched. Colonel Clarke resumed : " Although we are ene- 
mies, it is customary among the whites, when they meet with celebrated 
warriors, to treat them with respect, in proportion to the exploits in war 
which they have performed against each other." On this account, as he 
was a great warrior, Colonel Clarke invited him to dinner. Big Gate, 
thus taken by surprise, endeavored to decline. Colonel Clarke, however, 
would not accept his excuses ; and as he began to repeat them, Clarke re- 
newed his solicitations, and expressed his determination to take no re- 
fusal, until he had worked up the Indian to the highest pitch of excite- 

Big Gate, unable to endure it longer, rushed at once into the middle 
of the room, threw down his war-belt, and a little British flag which he 
carried in his bosom, and tore off all the clothes he had received from his 
allies and late favorites, (the British,) except his breech-cloth ; struck 
himself violently on his breast, and told the audience, " that he had been 
a warrior from his youth ;' that he had delighted in battle, that he had 
been three times against Big Knife for the British ; that he had been pre- 
paring for another war-party, when he heard of Colonel Clarke's arrival j 


that he was now satisfied Big Knife was in the right, and as a man and a 
warrior, he ought not to fight any longer in a bad cause ; that he was 
henceforth a Big Knife." He therefore advanced, and shook hands with 
Colonel Clarke and his officers, and saluted them as brothers. 

The new brother being now entirely naked, it became necessary that 
he should be clothed ; and accordingly, a fine laced suit was procured for 
him by some Frenchmen, and he appeared at dinner " in all the finery 
of military parade." Shortly afterward, he desired a private interview 
with Colonel Clarke, in which he gave a full account of the situation of 
Detroit, and offered his services in obtaining a scalp or a prisoner. 
Colonel Clarke, unwilling to encourage Indian barbarities, declined the 
former, and expressed a willingness to receive the latter ; but charged 
him by no means to use him ill. On the chief's taking leave, he pre- 
sented him with a captain's commission and a medal. 

" Our desire," says Colonel Clarke in his Journal, " to keep them (the 
Indians,) still — a course of conduct which had proved fruitless to our 
countrymen — and particularly our refusal to accept at their hands scalps, 
and pay for them, has in many instances, without doubt, united the In- 
dians with our less scrupulous enemies." 

No intelligence having been received from St. Vincents, for a long 
time, fears for its safety began to be entertained ; and on the 29th of 
January, 1779, Colonel Vigo, then a partner of the Governor of St. Louis, 
brought information to Kaskaskia, that Governor Hamilton of Detroit had 
returned thither, and subjected it once more to British sway ; that, owing 
to the lateness of the season;, he had postponed his operations against Kas- 
kaskia ; and, in order to keep the restless auxiliaries he had brought 
with him, to the number of four hundred, in occupation, had sent them 
againstthe frontier settlements of Kentucky, contemplating to reassemble 
his forces early in the spring, for a grand campaign against Kaskaskia. 

We have already stated, that Captain Helm was appointed by Colonel 
Clarke commander of Fort St. Vincents, and " agent for Indian affairs upon 
the Wabash." On the arrival of Governor Hamilton with a considerable 
force, Captain Helm was in command. He, and one soldier by the name 
of Henry, constituted at that time the whole of its garrison. As soon as 
Governor Hamilton had arrived within speaking distance of the fort, the 
American commander, in a loud voice, cried out, " Halt." Captain Helm 
had a cannon, well charged, then placed in the open gateway, and stood 
at the time with a lighted match, by its side. Governor Hamilton, seeing 
the cannon in the gateway, and hearing the word " halt," stopped imme. 
diately, and demanded its surrender. " No man," exclaimed Helm, with 
an oath, " enters here until I know the terms." Hamilton replied im- 
mediately : " You shall have the honors of war." Helm thereupon sur- 
rendered the fort, and the whole garrison, consisting of one officer, 
(Captain Helm,) and one private, (Henry,) all of them marched out 
with the honors of war. 

Governor Hamilton, having received orders from the British commander- 


in-chief, " to pass up the Ohio river to Fort Pitt, sweeping Kentucky on 
his way," and expecting two hundred warriors from Mackinaw, and five 
hundred more from the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and other tribes ; was now 
waiting impatiently at St. Vincents for the arrival of his auxiliaries, and 
for the return of spring to execute this bold design. 

Colonel Clarke, in the meantime, having learnt from the same respect- 
able source as before, (Colonel Vigo,) that Hamilton had then but eighty 
men in garrison at Vincennes, three pieces of light brass cannon, and 
some swivels mounted ; with that promptness which genius always inspires, 
resolved to carry the war into the enemy's country ; or, as he expresses 
it in his Journal : ^' I knew if I did not take him, he would take me."' 
He therefore fitted out, without a moment's delay, a large Mississippi boat 
as a galley, put on board two four-pounders, and four swivels taken from 
the British fort at Kaskaskia, and forty-six men, under the command of 
Captain John Rogers, and ordered them to descend the Mississippi, ascend 
the Ohio, and force their way up the Wabash, if possible, as far as White 
River, and there remain till further orders. 

He then raised two companies of men in Kaskaskia and Cahokia, placed 
one of them under the command of Captain McCarty, and the other under 
the command of Captain Charleville ; these, together with his own, con- 
stituted a force of one hundred and seventy men. On the 7th of Febru- 
ary, 1779, this forlorn hope commenced its march over the drowned lands 
of the Wabash, for Vincennes. Intelligence of the re-capture of the 
latter by a British force, it will be recollected, was not received at Kas- 
kaskia until the 29th of January. On the 7th of February, eight days 
thereafter, a fleet (equipped and manned,) had sailed, and an army (re- 
cruited, officered, and provisioned,) had marched "to death or victory." 
Neither Hannibal nor Gsesar, Cromwell nor Marlborough, had done the 
like, (Wellington and Bonaparte were then unknown.) Neither, how- 
ever, had they been living, would have plucked a solitary wreath from 
the crown of glory which adorned this Hannibal of the woods. 

Clarke, to divert his men on their dreary march, encouraged hunting- 
parties, feasts on game, and war-dances after the manner of the Indians. 
In this way, on the 13th, after incredible fatigue, they reached the little 
Wabash. The forks of the stream, at this point, are three miles apart, 
and the opposite heights of land five miles and upward. At the time of 
Clarke's arrival, the whole of this interval was covered with water, 
generally " three feet deep, never under two, and frequently four." The 
expedient to which many, and particularly a little drummer, resorted, in 
wading rather than marching across this interval, afforded infinite amuse- 
ment, and helped to divert the minds of the soldiers from their real con- 
dition. On coming to a ravine apparently beyond his depth, on account 
of his diminutive size, he put his drum into the stream, and mounting on 
the top, requested the tallest man in the company to pilot him across ; 
and in this way, amid shouts of applause, reached the opposite bank. In 
the exploits of Alexander, we read of armies crossing rivers in boats made 


of skins, and in the story of many a modern hero, a repetition of the tale ; 
this, however, is the first instance handed down to us, of a soldier crossing 
the " angry flood on a drum-head."* 

On the 1 8th they heard the morning and evening guns of Fort St. Vin- 
cents, and on the same day reached the Wabash, nine miles from Vin- 
cennes, and a little below the mouth of the Embarras creek. The galley 
had not yet arrived ; no boats or scows, in which to cross the stream, 
were to be had, and before they could be built the whole party would 
have starved. All of Clarke's address was now required to protect the 
detachment against desponding. On the 20th a boat was brought to by 
the guard, and the most cheering intelligence of the disposition of the 
French residents was obtained. A large sheet of water to be crossed was 
now spread out before them, which, on examination, was found to be up 
to their arm-pits. Report of this fact being made to Colonel Clarke, in an 
unguarded moment he spoke rather despondingly to the officer next him. 
The whole detachment caught the infection, and despair at once filled 
every bosom. Clarke however in a moment perceived his error, and when 
passing to the officer standing near, told him to imitate immediately what 
he himself was about to do — then, taking some powder in his hand and 
mixing with it a little water, he blacked his face, and raising an Indian 
war-whoop, marched at once into the stream. The officer to whom the 
above directions were given imitated his example, and the whole detach- 
ment followed without a murmur. A new impulse was given to the 
march, and the men stepped into the water on the 20th of February with 
a cheerfulness which many troops, under their sufferings, would not have 
exerted on land. A favorite song was sung, and the whole detachment 
joined in the chorus. When they had got to the deepest part, from whence 
it was intended to transport the troops in two canoes which thev had 
obtained, one of the men said he felt a path, quite perceptible to the touch 
of naked feet; and supposing it must pass over the highest ground, the 
march was continued to a place called the Sugar Camp, where they found 
about half an acre of land above the water. Here they rested a moment. 
Another expanse of water was now to be crossed, and what heightened 
the difficulty, was the entire absence of wood or timber, to support the 
famishing and exhausted party in wading. The object however of their 
toils, was now in sight. 

Clarke thereupon addressed his troops in a spirited manner, and led the 
way into the water as before, up to his middle — as soon as the third man 
had stepped off, Clarke ordered Captain Bowman to fall back with twenty- 
five men, and shoot every man who refused to march ; resolved, as he 
said, that " no coward should disgrace this company of brave men." 
The order was received with a shout and huzza, and every man followed 
his commander, cheered as they sometimes were by the advance guard, 
with a purposed deception that the water was growing shallower, and 

* Major Sowman's journal of the march. 


sometimes with the favorite cry of seamen, " land ! land !" When they 
reached the woods that skirted the river, the water was still up to their 
shoulders ; the support, however, of the trees and floating logs were found 
of essential use, and aided them exceedingly in their perilous march. On 
approaching the bank, or high-ground, so completely were they exhausted, 
that many fell on their faces, leaving their bodies half in the water, unable 
any longer to continue their eflx)rts. 

An Indian canoe, with a quarter of buffalo-beef, some corn and a little 
tallow, having been captured, proved to men in their exhausted condition 
a prize of inestimable value. It was immediately cooked with broth, and 
small as the amount to each was, refreshed the whole party in the most 
acceptable manner. 

A gunner from the town, shooting ducks in its vicinity, being taken 
prisoner by a party of Americans, Colonel Clarke wrote a letter to the 
inhabitants of Vincennes, and sent it by the prisoner, informing them 
"that he should take possession of their town that night ;" and desired all 
who were friends to the King of England to repair to the fort and fight 
like men — otherwise, if discovered after this notice, aiding the enemy, 
they would be severely punished. This expedient was predicated upon 
his own weakness, and resorted to for the purpose of adding confidence to 
his friends, and increasing the dismay of his enemies ; and from its impo- 
sing character, had a wonderful effect— so much so, that the town and gar- 
rison believed the expedition to be from Kentucky, supposing it impossible, 
considering the state of the country and the waters, that it could be 
from Illinois. This idea, too, was confirmed by messages sent to gentle- 
men in Vincennes, under the assumed names of well-known persons in 
Kentucky. The soldiers were also directed, in all their conversations 
before strangers, to speak of their own force as being much larger than it 
really was. 

On approaching the town, they were surprised at not hearing a drum 
beat or a gun fired from the fort, although they perceived much hastening 
to and fro in the streets. Colonel Clarke afterward learned that the friends 
of the British were afraid to give the garrison notice of his presence. 

On the 23rd of February, a little before sundown, the whole detachment 
sallied forth to take possession of Vincennes, marching and countermarch- 
ing around a little eminence on the prairie in view of the town, and dis- 
playing several sets of colors, brought by the French volunteers, so as to 
enhance their numbers three or four-fold ; then marching through some 
shallow ponds about breast-deep, they encamped on the heights in its rear 
for the night. No hostile demonstrations were yet apparent, and the 
utmost impatience was now felt in the American camp, to know what this 
could mean. Lieutenant Bailey was thereupon sent, with fourteen men, 
to commence an attack upon the fort — this, however, was attributed by 
the British to some drunken Indians, who had saluted the fort in the same 
way before ; and until a British soldier was actually shot down through a 
port-hole, no one even suspected the attempt to be in earnest. 


Captain Helm was at that time a prisoner, and had been ever since the 
garrison surrendered. Henry, the private, and the only one in Captain 
Helm's army, at the time of its surrender, was a prisoner also. Henry 
had a wife who lived in town, and she had access daily to her husband in 
the fort. Colonel Clarke, having several friends in Vincennes, through 
this channel received information of the state, condition, and disposition of 
the garrison ; Avhich in other cases is obtained with considerable trouble 
and expense, and sometimes with difficulty and danger. Having learned 
through this channel the disposition of Helm's quarters, knowing also the 
captain's propensity for apple-toddy, and believing he would have some 
on the hearth as usual ; a soldier in Clarke's detachment sought permission 
to fire at his quarters, with a view, as he said, to knock down the clay or 
mortar into the captain's favorite beverage. Captain Helm was at that 
time playing at piquet with Governor Hamilton. When the bullets began 
to rattle about the chimney. Captain Helm jumped up and swore it was 
Clarke, and that he would make them all prisoners, but the damned ras- 
cals had no right to spoil his toddy. Helm had no sooner made the 
exclamation, than Hamilton inquired " if Clarke was a merciful man ?" 
While this conversation was passing between the governor and his pris- 
oner, the latter seeing some soldiers look out at a port-hole, cautioned them 
against repeating it : '• For," said he, "Clarke's men will shoot your eyes 
out." It so happened, that the soldier above mentioned was shot in the 
eye ; whereupon. Helm exclaimed : " There, I told you so !'' The above 
incidents no doubt had their effect. The fire had not long continued before 
the ammunition of the besiegers became nearly exhausted, " the galley " 
not having arrived. In this emergency, a supply of powder and bail was 
discovered, which had been buried by the French to keep it out of the 
hands of the English. Whether this discovery was accidental, or de- 
signed, we are uninformed. Accidents, however, of this nature, frequently 
assist the brave. Tobacco's son, of whom mention has already been made, 
now arrived, and offered his services to Clarke, with a hundred warriors. 
The offer was declined, but his presence and counsel were requested. 
The Americans, having now advanced within fifty yards of the fort, were 
entirely unharmed, on account of the awkward elevation of the garrison 
guns ; while on the other hand, as soon as a port-hole was opened, or was 
darkened, a dozen Kentucky riflemen cut down everything in their way, 
and the British soldiers could no longer be kept to their guns. Clarke, 
perceiving their difficulties, sternly demanded a surrender of the fort. 
Hamilton at once refused, and declared " he would not be awed into any- 
thing unbecoming a British subject." The American troops were there- 
fore urgent to storm the fort, but Clarke repressed their rashness. In the 
evening the British commander, finding his cannon useless, and fearing a 
storm, sent a flag to the besiegers, desiring a truce of three days — this, 
Colonel Clarke, although he expected a reinforcement with artillery on 
the arrival of " the galley," refused ; but proposed, in return, that the 
British garrison should surrender at discretion, and that Governor Hamil- 


ton and Captain Helm (a prisoner,) should meet him at the church. In 
consequence of this offer, the parties met as desired, and Major Hays 
accompanied the British commander. Clarke, having rejected Hamilton's 
offer, the latter insisted that offers should be made by Clarke. Clarke, 
adhering to his first proposition. Captain Helm attempted to moderate his 
terms ; when the latter was reminded by Clarke that a British prisoner 
could not with propriety speak on the occasion. Governor Hamilton 
therefore said, that Captain Helm was liberated from that moment. 
Clarke, however, refused to accept his release on these terms, and said 
he must return and abide his fate. The British officers were then in- 
formed, that the firing would commence again in fifteen minutes. The 
gentlemen were about to retire to their respective quarters, when Governor 
Hamilton, taking Colonel Clarke aside, politely asked the reason for 
rejecting the liberal offers he had made. Colonel Clarke thereupon said, 
with affected severity : " I know the principal Indian partisans from 
Detroit are in the fort, and I only want an honorable opportunity of put- 
ting such instigators of Indian barbarities to death — ^the cries of the widows 
and orphans, made by their butcheries, require such blood at my hands." 
" So sacred," said Clarke, " do I consider this claim upon me for punish- 
ment, that I think it next to divine, and I would rather lose fifty men than 
not execute a vengeance demanded by so much innocent blood. If Gov- 
ernor Hamilton chooses to risk the destruction of his garrison for the sake 
of such miscreants, he is at liberty to do so." Upon this, Major Hays 
inquired : " Pray, sir, whom do you mean by Indian partisans ?" " I 
consider Major Hays one of the principal ones," said Clarke. Hays's 
countenance changed immediately — he turned pale and trembled, and 
could scarcely stand. Governor Hamilton blushed for his conduct, and 
Captain Bowman could scarcely refrain from expressing his contempt. 
From that moment Colonel Clarke returned, and told Governor Hamilton 
" they would return to their respective posts, and he would consider the 
matter, and let him know the result by a flag." The British offer being 
submitted to a council of war, it was agreed that the terms should be 
moderated ; they were thereupon communicated to Governor Hamilton, 
acceded to by him, and on the 24th of February, 1779, the fort was sur- 
rendered, and the garrison became prisoners of war. The " star spangled 
banner " was again hoisted, and thirteen British (now American,) cannon 
fired in commemoration of the victory. Seventy-nine prisoners, and a 
quantity of military stores, and forty prisoners afterward, and goods to 
the value of one hundred thousand pounds sterling, thus became the pro- 
perty of the victors. 

The American galley soon afterward hove in sight, and seeing the en- 
sign of freedom waving on Fort St. Vincents, were mortified to think that 
their services had not contributed to its reduction. 

Detroit now presented itself in full view. Clarke's force was, however, 
inadequate to effect its conquest, and Governor Henry promising a rein- 
forcement, the expedition was postponed, and Colonel Clarke embarked aa 


board his galley for Kaskaskia, leaving Captain Helm at Vincennes once 
more in command. 

Victory seemed now to have hung vi'ith rapture upon the banners of 
Clarke. He had extended the bounds of the Republic from the Ohio to the 
Mississippi. His footsteps had scarcely been marked with blood — for 
him to appear was, of course, to conquer. Well might Buckongahelas, 
the head warrior of the Delawares, after the peace-chiefs had addressed 
the commissioners at Fort Mcintosh, in 1785, advance without deigning to 
notice the colleague of Colonel Clarke, and take the latter by the hand, 
and say as be did : " [ thank the Great Spirit, for having this day brought 
together two such great wai'riors as Buckongahelas and General Clarke.'' 

As we are about to take our leave of a patriot and hero for ever, our 
readers may, perhaps, wish to know how so bright a star in the American 
constellation, as Colonel Clarke, could have dropped from its sphere. We 
answer in the language of his kinsman and friend, who, speaking of him 
afterwai-d, says : " He was no longer the same man as the conqueror of 
Kaskaskia, and the captor of Vincennes. His mind was wounded by the 
neglect of the government of Virginia to settle his accounts. Private 
suits were brought against him for public supplies, which ultimately 
swept away his fortune, and with this injustice the spirits of the hero fell, 
and the general never recovered the energies which had stamped him as 
one of nature's noblemen. At the same time, it is feared that a too ready 
and too extensive conviviality contributed its mischievous effects."* 

The surrender of Cornwallis, on the 19th of October, 1781, and the 
treaty of peace between England and the United Colonies, bearing date 
on the 20th of July, 1783, by which the independence of the latter was 
recognized, terminated, for a while, hostilities with the savages, and as the 
British power in Illinois became extinguished by the efforts of Colonel 
Clarke, in 1778 and 1779, little remains for us to record. On the 2nd 
of July, 1783, General Clax'ke's official duties ceased in Illinois. (See 
note.) History, we are told, has been seldom known to smile. " Hav- 
oc, and spoil, and ruin are its gain." While the pursuits of honest indus- 
try occupy hardly a page, a siege or a tempest, a war or a famine, a rev- 
olution or a civil broil, supply materials for volumes. 

The History of Illinois between the surrender of Vincennes, in 1779, 
and the peace, or rather the truce of 1783, became, therefore, a blank. 

An Englishman, (Sydney Smith,) high on the rolls of fame, in speaking 
of the American Revolution, its origin, progress, and close, graphically 
remarks : 

" There was a period, when the slightest concessions would have satisfied the Ameri- 
cans. But all the world was in heroics. One set of men met at the Lamb, the other at 
the Lion. Blood and treasure-men, breathing war, vengeance and contempt ; and in 
eight years afterward, an awkward-looking gentleman, in plain clothes, walked up to the 
drawing-room, in St. James's, and was introduced as the embassador from the United States 
of America." 

* Butler's History of Kentucky, to which we are principally indebted for the accoont oi 
Colonel Clarke's expedition to Illinois. 





In Council, July 2nd, 1783. 

The conclusion of the war, and the distressed situation of the State, with regard to 
its finances, call on us to adopt the most prudent economy. It is for this reason alone, I 
bave come to a determination to give over all thought, for the present, of carrying on an 
ofiensive war against the Indians, which, you will easily perceive, will render the services 
of a general officer in that quarter unnecessary, and will, therefore, consider yourself as 
out of command. But, before I take leave of you, I feel myself called upon, in the most 
forcible manner, to return you my thanks, and those of my council, for the very great and 
singular services you have rendered your country, in wresting so great and valuable a ter- 
ritory from the hands of the British enemy ; repelling the attacks of their savage allies, 
and carrying on a successful war in the heart of their country. This tribute of praise and 
thanks, so justly due, I am happy to communicate to you, as the united voice of the ex- 

I am, with respect, sir. 

Yours, etc. 

Benjamin Harrisok. 


Indian Tribes Hot included in the Peace of 1783 — Indian hostilities continued — Peace of 
1783 a mere truce — Western and Northwestern posts withheld — Indian hostilities 
instigated by the English traders and emissaries — English encroachments in Ohio — 
Washington's opinion upon this subject — Boundaries of the United States fixed by 
Treaty — Violated by the English — Cause of such violation — Northwestern Territory, 
claimed by different States — Deeds of cession — Ordinance for its government, July 
13, 1787 — Relief Laws ; and Laws to prevent the collection of debts by British 
merchants — Washington's opinion thereon — Constitution of the United States 
adopted — Congress resolve to chastise the Indians — General Harraer appointed 
Commander-in-chief — American Army consisted of 320 Regular troops and some 
Militia — General Harmer defeated by Little Turtle, the Miami Chief — General St. 
Clair appointed Governor of the Northwestern Territory— Is defeated by Little Turtle 
— A new Army raised — General Wayne appointed to its command — Colonel Har- 
ding, and Major Freeman of Kentucky, sent as Agents to the Miamis — Murdered — 
General Wayne advances to Greenville — Builds Fort Recovery — British erect a fort 
on the Miami — Letter from General Knox to General WajTie — The latter builds Fort 
Defiance — General Wayne writes to Little Turtle — Little Turtle advises the savages 
to listen to his terms — General Wayne builds Fort Deposite — Is attacked by the In - 
dians — Defeats the latter with great loss — Treaty of Greenville, January 7, 1794 — 
Observed faithfully till the War of 1812 — Correspondence between General Wayne 
and Major Campbell — Effect of Wayiie's victory — Treaty of amity and commerce 
between England and the United States, November 19, 1794 — Ratified afterward by 
the President and Senate — Western Posts given up, and peace restored to the Fron- 
tiers — American Settlements made in Illinois — Its Population in 1810, 12,228. 

The peace of 1783, between England and the United States, did not 
include the Indian allies of the former. Several tribes, therefore, con- 
tinued their hostililies as before; and between 1783 and 1790, no less 
than one thousand five hundred and twenty men, women, and children, 
in Kentucky alone, were killed or carried into captivity. 

We have already remarked that the peace of '83 was merely a truce, 
not a pacification. It was, in fact, nothing more than a temporary and 
reluctant sacrifice of national pride to national interest. It was not a 
frank and honest adjustment of differences without a wish to renew the 
controversy. The first American minister accredited at the English 
court, had scarcely passed the threshold of St. James's ere the unextin- 
guished animosity of the English nation toward the United States became 
apparent. The elder Adams, our first minister at London, in a letter to 
the secretary of foreign affairs, dated July 19th, 1785, says: "If Eng- 
land had another hundred millions to spend, they would soon force the 
ministry into a war with the United States." The withholding of the 
western and northwestern military posts, (Mackinaw, Detroit, Niagara, 


and others,) confessedly within the limits of the United States, in vio- 
lation of the treaty of 1783 ; the instigating of the Indian tribes, in 
alliance with Great Britain, to a renewal of hostilities ; and the extending 
of territorial encroachments on the Miami of the lake, from whence 
she supplied the wants, and prompted the attacks of the numerous savage 
tribes, which then occupied the whole of this vast country, constitute a 
part only of the evidence on which this opinion is founded. " There does 
not," says President Washington, in a letter to Mr. Jay, as late as the 
30th of August, 1794, "remain a doubt in the mind of any well-informed 
person in this country, that all the difficulties we encounter with the In- 
diuTis, their hostilities, the murder of helpless women and children along 
our frontiers, result from the conduct of the agents of Great Britain in 
this country."' Again: "It is an undeniable fact, that they are furnish- 
inof the whole with arms, ammunition, clothing, and even provisions, to 
carry on the war. I might go farther, and if they are not much belied, 
add men also, in disguise." 

" Were nations," says an elegant writer, " to review in person their 
motives for having made war, with the means they employed, and the 
method by which they conducted it, they would in general find much to 
blame in a moral, as well as a military point of view. The conviction 
of the wrongs they did, and the blunders they committed, might, on an- 
other and similar occasion, improve both their skill and their tactics, and 
make them at once better men and abler soldiers. But as nations cannot 
be brought together, it rests with Government to perform this duty of self- 
examination, when, if they omit it, the task devolves on the historian." 

We will endeavor, then, inasmuch as the English government and 
people have been exceedingly remiss, in performing this duty of self- 
examination, to do it for them. 

By the treaty of peace in 1783, Great Britain " acknowledged the 
freedom, sovereignty, and independence of the United States." 

The boundaries of the latter were also fixed. The Mississippi on the 
west, and lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, Superior, and the Lake. of the 
Woods, and their connecting rivers on the north. Mackinaw, Detroit, 
and Niagara, were then confessedly within the United States ; and the 
withholding of them by the British government was, of course, a viola- 
tion of the treaty. The emanation of Indian hostilities from thence was 
for many years too apparent to require elucidation. That the English 
then were in the wrong, and therefore without apology, other than that 
hereinafter suggested, cannot be denied. That she was prompted to this 
course by the supposition, " that man is incapable of self-government;" 
and also by the secret and delusive hope that the union of these States 
would be temporary ; and that a part, or perhaps the whole, would seek 
a reconnection with the British empire, we can readily believe. 

That .she has, thus far, been deceived in her anticipations, is a matter 
of history ; and that she will, hereafter, be deceived in like manner, if 
such be her anticipations, is perhaps equally certain. 


At the close of the American war, the confederate States were without 
any special bond of union, deeply involved in debt, their credit entirely 
ruined, and anarchy in prospect before them : to bind them together by 
a common tie, to raise their exhausted credit, and to meet their obligations, 
were considerations of the highest moment. The boundaries of several 
of the States were undefined ; and several conflicting claims were inter- 
posed to the immense region, known and distinguished as the " Western 
(now public) lajids." 

The Confederation asked, therefore, of the several States assertino- 
these claims — especially to lands west of the great range of mountains, 
which divide the waters of the Atlantic from those of the Mississippi — 
deeds of cession of their soil and sovereignty, in order to secure harmony 
among the States ; to unite them more firmly by ties of interest, having 
property held in common, for the benefit of all ; and by the gradual sale 
of such lands, to provide the means of paying off the revolutionary debt. 

The request was met with a spirit of patriotism, and cessions were 
made by individual States, to nearly all of the property lying west of the 
Appalachian mountains, and east of the Mississippi river, embracing the 
the richest and best watered valley in the world. 

That portion of the public lands which constituted what was then called 
the " Northwestern Territory," and includes now the States of Ohio, In- 
diana, Illinois, and Michigan, and the Territory of Wisconsin; was 
claimed wholly by the State of Virginia, and in part by the States of 
New- York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, under their respective char- 
ters, or grants from the English crown. Their boundaries, however, 
were vague and uncertain, and gave rise, therefore, to claims (no matter 
whether real or pretended,) difficult to be adjusted. 

The title of Virginia to the extensive territory — containing about one 
hundred and sixty-five millions of acres — was, unquestionably, better 
founded than that of any, or all of the other Slates together. In the first 
place, a large portion of it was included in the original patent. In the 
second place, its conquest was achieved by a military force, raised, 
equipped, and paid by the State of Virginia. And in the last place, Vir- 
ginia was in the actual possession of all of this domain. A county (Illi- 
nois) had been organized under its jurisdiction. Justice, both civil and 
criminal, was administered in the name, and by the authority of the peo- 
ple of Virginia ; and the French inhabitants of Kaskaskia, Cahokia, Vin- 
cennes, and elsewhere, had taken the oath of allegiance to the " Common- 
wealth of Virginia." On the other hand, neither Massachusetts, New- 
York, nor Connecticut, had enforced, or sought to enforce, actual author- 
ity, it is believed, over the disputed territory, or any part of it. Be that, 
however, as it may, the question is no longer material. The State of 
New- York, on the 1st of March, 1780, the State of Virginia on the 23rd 
of April, 1784, the State of Massachusetts on the 19th of April, 1785, and 
the State of Connecticut on the 13th of September, 1786, ceded all their 
right, title, and claim, as well as soil andjurisdiction, to the United States, 


to be, in the language of the, grant of Virginia, held, and " considered, 
as a common, fund, for the use and benefit of such of the United States as 
have become, or shall become, members of the Confederation, or federal 
alliance of the said States, Virginia inclusive, according to their usual 
respective proportions, in the general charge and expenditure ; and shall 
be faithfully and bona fide disposed of for that purpose, and for no other 
use or purpose whatever." 

In justice to the other States, we ought, perhaps, here to mention that 
North-Carolina, after the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, 
in 1790, ceded in like manner all her western lands, now the State of 
Tennessee ; and Georgia, in 1802, the present States of Mississippi and 
Alabama ; these last grants, however, were coupled with conditions 
(needless here to be mentioned,) which rendered them less productive 
than they otherwise would have been. Connecticut also, excepted in her 
grant of cession, what is called the Western Reserve, the jurisdiction of 
which, however, on the 30th of May, 1800, she released to the United 
States. These different cessions, together with Louisiana and Florida, 
afterward purchased — the former of France, on the 30th of April, 1803, 
and the latter of Spain, on the 22nd of February, 1819 ; the former con- 
taining 850,000,000 of acres, including Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, 
and Iowa, for $15,000,000 ; and the latter, about 40,000,000 of acres, 
for $5,000,000. and the payment of certain claims of American citizens 
upon the Spanish crown — constitute what is known and distinguished as 
the "American Public Lands," of which more hereafter. 

Soon after the above cessions. Congress, on the 13th of July, 1787, 
passed an ordinance " for the government of the territory of the United 
States, northwest of the river Ohio." The present State of Illinois being 
a part of the Northwestern Territory, and subject to the ordinance above 
mentioned until 1800, when Indiana, including Illinois, was erected into 
a separate territory, (Ohio at that time having been admitted into the 
Union as a State,) the oi'dinance above referred to, demands a few pass- 
ing remarks. 

According to its provisions, a governor was to be appointed by Congress, 
for three years ; and a secretary, in like manner, for four years. A 
court, consisting of three judges, was organized ; and the governor and 
judges were authorized to adopt and publish such laws of the original 
States, civil and criminal, as were necessary, and best adapted to the 
circumstances of the territory. As soon as there should be five thousand 
free male inhabitants of full age, in the district, they were authorized to 
elect representatives in a General Assembly ; these were to hold their 
ofiices for two years. The governor, legislative council, (consisting of 
five members, to be appointed by Congress,) and a House of Representa- 
tives, were authorized to make any laws, not repugnant to the principles 
and articles of the ordinance of Congress, thus established and declared. 
The Legislature were also authorized, by joint ballot, to appoint a dele- 
gate to Congress, who was to have a seat therein, and the privilege of 
debating, but not of voting. 


Certain other articles of compact between the original States, and the 
people and States, in the Northwestern Territory, were also incorporated 
into said ordinance, and were " to remain for ever unalterable, unless by 
common consent." Among them are the following : 

" No person shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship or religious 

" No law shall be passed, that shall in any manner whatever interfere with, or affect 
private interests or engagements, bona fide, and without fraud, previously formed. 

" The utmost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indians. Their lands 
and property shall never be taken from them without their consent, unless in jvxst and 
lawful wars, authorized by Congress. 

" No tax shall be imposed on lands, the property of the United States ; and in no case 
shall non-resident proprietors be taxed higher than resident. 

" There shall be formed in the said territory, not less than three, nor more than five 
States. And the boundaries of the States, as soon as Virginia shall alter her act of ces- 
sion, and consent to the same, shall become fixed and established as follows, to wit : 

" The western State in the said territory, shall be bounded by the Mississippi, Ohio, and 
Wabash rivers, a direct line drawn from the Wabash, and Fort Vincents, due north to the 
territorial line between the United States and Canada, and by the said territorial Hne to 
the Lake of the Woods and the Mississippi. The middle State shall be boimded by the 
said direct line, the Wabash from Post Vincents to the Ohio ; by the Ohio by a direct 
Hne, drawn due north from the mouth of the Great Miami, to the said territorial line, and 
by the said territorial line. The eastern State shall be bounded by the last mentioned 
direct line, the Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the said territorial line ; provided, however, and 
it is farther understood, and declared, that the boundaries of these three States shall be 
subject so far to be altered, that if Congress shall hereafter find it expedient, they shall 
have authority to form one or two States, in that part of the said territory which lies 
north of an east and west line drawn through the southerly bend, or extreme of Lake- 

" There shall be neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude in the said territory, other- 
■wise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted ; 
provided always, that any person escaping into the same, from whom labor or service is 
lawfiilly claimed in any one of the original States, such fugitive may be lawfully re. 
claimed and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor in service, as aforesaid."t 

The government of the Northwestern Territory having been duly or- 
ganized by Congress, Arthur St. Clair, an officer of high rank in the rev- 
olutionary army, who had served with some little, though not with very 
brilliant reputation, during the war, was appointed the first governor, and 

His duties were exceedingly arduous ; the population of the territory 
was small — that of Illinois proper not exceeding at the time three thou- 
sand, and scattered over a wide expanded surface. The Indians were 
numerous, powerful, and hostile. 

* This ordinance having recently produced some angry discusaPfc in Northern Illinois 
and Wisconsin, and attempts having been made, and meetings, and conventions held, in 
order to annex a portion of the former to the latter, the attention of the reader will again 
be called to that subject when we come to speak of the boundaries of Illinois. 

tThe attention of the reader will again be called to the wise and benificent provisions 
of this ordinance, when we come to speak of slaves and slavery in Illinois. 



The influence of British agents was considerable, and the influence of 
British gold still more. Both were put in requisition : depredations on 
the part of the Indians were frequent ; and recrin>inations on the part of 
the whites were terrible. 

During this period of gloom, when our frontier settlements were bleed- 
ing at every pore, the want of sufficient power in Congress, the want of 
union between the States, and the want of energy in the Government, had 
rendered the old confederation impotent, and almost insignificant. The 
people generally were embarrassed. Their property, in many instances, 
had been seized foi- the use of both armies ; and much of their labor been 
withdrawn from the peaceful occupations of husbandry, for military 

Their commerce, small at first, was now annihilated ; imported com- 
modities were enhanced greatly in value ; and articles for exportation 
reduced below their ordinary price. Peace found the Americans, not 
only destitute of the elegancies and conveniences of life, but also without 
means of procuring them except by anticipating their future resources. 
On opening their ports to foreign vessels, an immense quantity of mer- 
chandise was introduced, and many, tempted by its cheapness, were pre- 
vailed upon to purchase beyond their ability to pay. 

The inducements which equal liberty and vacant lands presented to 
the European emigrants, it was supposed by many, would enhance the 
price of the latter, and without effort on their part fill their coffers ; and 
it had not escaped their observation, that in their purchase of real estate 
on credit, they were essentially relieved from the pressure of pecuniary 
obligation by the constant depreciation of paper money. Hence, many 
inferred that the revolution was a real talisman, whose magic powers, 
by the aid of speculation alone, was capable of changing the whole nature 
of things. Such delusive hopes, however, were shortly dissipated, but 
not until a large portion of the community had been wholly ruined. 

Our readers need not here be told, that distress under such a state of 
things was universal. Notwithstanding, however, all these untoward cir- 
cumstances, Washington stood erect. In a letter to General La Fayette, 
he says : " However unimportant America may be considered at present, 
and however Britain may affect to despise her trade, there will assuredly 
come a day, when this country will have some weight in the scale of 
empire." This opinion, it will be observed, was wholly prospective. 
The distress which prevailed, induced the Legislatures of several States 
to pass relief laws, in violation of the treaty of peace, and to pass laws to 
prevent the collection of debts by British merchants. This was just as 
clearly a violation^f the fourth article of the treaty, as the withholding 
of the western ancWorthwestern posts by the English, was of the seventh. 
Whether the cause or the consequences of the latter, we are unable to 

Assuming, however, the treaty to have been obligatory on both, the 
inability of Congress to enforce its execution was too apparent. Their 


control over the acts of thirteen different Legislative bodies, was not, and 
could not be pretended. 

" It is good policy/' said Washington, " at all times to place one's ad- 
versary in the wrong. Had we observed good faith, and the western 
posts had been withheld from us by Great Britain, we might have ap- 
pealed to God and man for justice. What a misfortune it is," said he, 
in reply to the secretary of foreign affairs, " that the British should have so 
well grounded a pretext for their palpable infractions." " The distresses 
of individuals," said he, in another letter, "are to be alleviated by indus- 
try and frugality, and not by a relaxation of the laws, or by a sacrifice 
of the rights of others." This truth, it seems, then stands confessed, that 
debts improvidently contracted by American citizens, produced infrac- 
tions of the treaty on our part, and this infraction, (whether before or 
afterward, is not very material to illustrate the principle,) occasioned in- 
fractions on the part of England. Of course, then, the Indian wars, and 
the bloody massacres that followed, were the offspring of individual im- 
providence. However much this improvidence was at the time to be 
deprecated and deplored, it pleased God, in his providence, to sanctify it 
for our good. The chastisements of Heaven are not unfrequently bless- 
ings in disguise. 

The present Constitution of the United States, presented to the Ameri- 
can people for their adoption, on the 12th of September, 1787, and accept- 
ed by the several States, thereafter, under which we have lived and been 
prospered as a nation, for more than half a century, was its first and 
most prominent result. 

A government, more efficient than " the old Continental Congress," 
having been organized under the new Constitution ; and Washington, the 
"father of his country," having been elected by acclamation, first Presi- 
dent of the United States, on the 4th of March, 1789, great improvements 
in the condition and circumstances of the people were at opce discover- 
able. Progressive industry, in a short time, repaired the bsses sustained 
by a war of seven years' continuance ; and the effect of the new Constitu- 
tion on habits of thinkmg and acting, though silent, w^ soon pei;ceivable. 

The deprivation of State Legislatures, in the ne«^ Constitution, of power 
to make laws impairing the obligation of contracts, or to make anything 
other than gold and silver a lawful tender iu the payment of debts, re- 
moved at once an impression, before then too common, that the people, in 
case of an emergency, could rely on partial legislation for relief. A 
change in the public sentiment consequently followed ; people in em- 
barrassed circumstances, instead of looking to Government for assistance, 
sought relief by their own personal exertions ; and industry and economy 
were its happy result. Order succeeded to confusion, general prosperity 
accompanied order, and the mandates of law were heard and obeyed. 
Peace having in some measure been restored ; the Government having been 
reorganized, and vested with- adequate powers for its own preservation, 
measures were speedily adopted, to repel British and savage aggressions. 



Pacific means having been exhausted, the United States government 
resolved to make the Indian tribes, northwest of the Ohio, feel the effect 
of their arms. General Harmar, a gallant officer of considerable expe- 
rience, who had been appointed under the old Congress commander-in- 
chief, was now placed at the head of the army. 

It consisted of three hundred and twenty regular troops; detachments 
of militia from Pensylvania and Virginia, increased its whole number to 
one thousand four hundred and iifty-three. Insignificant as it may now 
appear, it was then an imposing force. General Harmar commenced his 
march on the 30th of September, 1790, from Fort Washington, (now 
Cincinnati.) to attack the Miami towns on the south side of the Maumee, 
at the junction of its head-branches. After a march of seventeen days, 
he reached the great Miami village, which had been set on fire by the 
Indians; and not finding the enemy, divided his forces, and was cut up 
and defeated in detail by Little Turtle, the celebrated Miami warrior ; 
and returned to Fort Washington on the 14th of December, after sustain- 
ing a loss of seventy-three out of three hundred and twenty of the regular 
troops, and a hundred and twenty of the militia. 

The expedition of General Harmar, though frequently said to be vic- 
torious, because he passed through some Indian villages, destroying their 
miserable dv.'ellings, their crops, and their provisions, failed wholly of its 
object. The red man was still in arms, the Northwestern Territory was 
battle-ground, and the confederated tribes, from Lake Erie and Lake 
Michigan, from the Illinois, the Wabash, and the Miami, were in the 
field ; Little Turtle, himself a host, was at their head ; and the struggle 
between the white and red man was again to be renewed. 

An additional force having, in 1791, been raised, Major General St. 
Clair, who had previously been appointed Governor of the Northwestern 
Territory, was vested with its command. The olive-branch and the 
sword being now united, and an army of two thousand regular troops 
having been collected at Fort Washington, they were joined by a large 
number of militie., and on or about the 1st of October, commenced their 
march. The object of the expedition was the same as in the preceding 
year — that is, the Mia.iii towns upon the Maumee of the lake. General St. 
Clair, though a •" veteraa of the revolution, and possessed of both talents 
and experience," was ola and infirm. The trying scenes of war, and 
especially a war with barbarians, amid interminable forests, required 
sleepless energy, inexhaustible activity, and enduring-toil ; qualities, 
which rarely survive the period of youth and middle-age, and generally 
participate with the physical powers m their decline ; and when to other 
sources of debility disease is added, what else than disaster can be ex- 
pected '? 

When General St. Clair commenced his march, he was so affected by 
the o-out as to be unable to walk, and could neither mount nor dismount 
his horse without assistance. His troops, having been enlisted for six 
months only, (it being supposed that the war would terminate, as a matter 


of course, within the ensuing campaign,) claimed their discharge ere the 
march had scarcely commenced, and long previous to its termination. 
Notwithstanding, however, " these omens of misfortune," General St, 
Clair, " to satisfy the expectations of his Government and country," 
urged forward his disastrous march, and on the 3rd of November, reached 
a small tributary stream of the Wabash, about twelve yards in width. 
Here he encamped, and intended on the following morning to throw up a 
slight breastwork for his security, and as soon as the first regiment (then 
in pursuit of deserters,) should come up, to march against the enemy. 
The Avily savage, however, did not wait for this junction of forces j nor 
did he suppose that an intrenched camp of the Americans, in the heart 
of the Indian settlements, would add to his ov/n security. Anticipating, 
therefore, the designs of his enemy, on the 4th of November, 1791, about 

• half an hour before sunrise, and immediately after the American troops 
had been dismissed from the parade. Little Turtle, at the head of about 
^fifteen hundred warriors, advanced and commenced a furious attack upon 
the militia. The latter immediately gave way, and rushing into the 
camp, were followed by Indians at their heels. The confusion at once 
became general ; the commander in-chief, notwithstanding his illness, 
was borne upon a litter into the thickest of the fire, and gave his orders 
with a coolness and self-possession that deserved a better fortune. Seve- 
ral charges were made with effect ; but in their efforts, great carnage 
was suffered from a concealed foe, particularly among the officers, every 
one of whom in the second regiment, but three, fell ; and near one half 
of the whole army thus engaged was killed or wounded. A retreat was 
ordered, and a flight followed. "A precipitate one it was, in fact," said 
General St. Clair, in his frank, simple, and dignified dispatch to Govern- 
ment, The soldiers threw away their arms after the pursuit had ceased, 
the artillery was abandoned, and the general escaped on a pack-horse, 
"which could not be pricked out of a walk." The rout continued to 
Fort Jefferson, twenty-nine miles from the scene of action, which the re- 

■ mains of the army reached about sundown — the battle having ended at 
about half-past nine in the morning. The troops were afterward marched 
back to Fort Washington, in good order, where they arrived on the 8th 
-of November. The loss of the Americans in this disastrous battle, killed 
and wounded, was nearly six hundred ; that of the Indians fifty-six. 
The number of American troops engaged exceeded, in all probability, 
that of the enemy ; and with all their gallantry, skill, and hard fighting, 
were inferior to the latter in efficiency. 

Nothing could have been more unexpected than this disaster ; the pub- 
lic had anticipated victory, and could not believe that an officer who had 
been so unfortunate could be otherwise than culpable. 

In was, in fact, a second Braddock's defeat : all the baggage, and seven 
pieces of artillery, and about half of the whole army, including the brave 
and much lamented General Butler, were left on the field. General 
Butler was tomahawked and scalped by an Indian, who entered the camp 


while the latter was in the hands of a surgeon, dressing his wounds. 
The behavior of the Indians was singularly daring : after discharging 
their arms, they rushed on with their tomahawks, exhibiting a fearless- 
ness of danger, which astonished even those bred " amid forays and fa- 
miliar with war-whoops." 

The whole country was at once filled with terror. The hostile tribes, it 
was feared, would derive strength from their victory. The reputation 
of the American government was in jeopardy : the fortune of its arms 
was to be retrieved, and protection immediately aiForded to an extensive 

General St. Clair, having earnestly requested that a court-martial 
might sit upon his conduct, the insufficiency of officers to constitute such 
a court, prevented his request from being granted. The cause, however, 
of the failure of the expedition under his command, was referred to a 
committee of the House of Representatives, in Congress, by whom he was 
exculpated ; and receiving, as he did, notwithstanding the misfortunes by 
which he was overwhelmed, the esteem and confidence of the president, 
(Washington,) he escaped the effects of popular resentment. 

Congress having met in 1792, the president, without delay submitted a 
plan for another campaign. He proposed to augment the military force 
to five thousand men. It met, however, with serious opposition — the jus- 
tice of the war was arraigned. The practicability of obtaining peace at 
less expense was urged ; and an extension of the western frontier, was 
by many thought undesirable. At any rate, it was an idle waste of blood 
and treasure, to carry the war beyond the line of forts already established ; 
and to send forth armies to be butchered in the forests, while the British 
were suffered to keep possession of the western and northwestern posts, 
from whence these Indian hostilities emanated, was preposterous in the 

On the other hand, it was urged, that it was too late to inquire into its 
justice — that the war existed — that many innocent persons were exposed 
to savage butchery — that the Government couU not, without impeachment 
of its justice and humanity, recede — that it behoved them, therefore, to 
prepare in time for a more vigorous effort than had hitherto been made — 
and, that it was far better to bring the contest to a speedy close, than to 
protract it from year to year. 

The opinion of the president finally prevailed ; the bill to augment the 
military force became a law ; and General St. Clair having resigned. 
Major General Wayne was appointed his successor. The law, however, 
presented so few inducements to enlist, that the highest military grades 
next to that of the commander-in-chief, were declined by many to whom 
they were oflfered ; and the recruiting business advanced so slow, that the 
decisive expedition in contemplation, was postponed until another year. 
The public clamor against the war, in the meantime, was continued. 
If, said its opponents, the intentions of Government respecting the savages 
were just and humane, those intentions were unknown to the latter— that 


their resentment was kept up by the aggressions of white men— and, by 
the opinions which extensively prevailed among the Indiansj that their 
expulsion from the land of their fathers, was the sole object of the war. 

While, therefore, means for offensive operations were preparing, the 
president thought proper to make another effort for peace, and Colonel 
Harden and Major Trueman, two brave officers and highly respected cit- 
izens of Kentucky, were sent thither, both of whom were barbarously 

The negotiations above referred to, having entirely failed, the cam- 
paign was now opened with as much vigor as a prudent attention to cir- 
cumstances would permit. The Indians, expecting an attack upon their 
villages, had collected a large force, with the apparent intention to risk a 
battle in their defence. A battle was desired by the American general. 
• Still, however, the consequences of a defeat were too serious to warrant 
precipitate movements. Inasmuch, then, as the negotiations for peace 
were not closed till September, and it was then too late to enter their coun- 
try with a view to retain it ; General Wayne collected his army, and 
marched about six miles in advance of Fort Jefferson, fortified his camp 
(at Greenville,) and established his head-quarters for the winter. He then 
took possession of the ground on which the Americans had been defeated, 
in 1791, and erected a fort, which he called Fort Recovery. 

Early in the spring of '94, a detachment of British troops from Detroit 
repossessed and fortified a post about fifty miles south of the latter, on the 
Miami of the lakes. Lord Dorchester, the Governor General of Canada, 
in a speech, addressed to several Indian tribes assembled at Quebec, had 
declared to them on the 10th of February, that, " he should not be sur- 
prised if Great Britain and the United States were at war in a year, and 
jf so, a line must be drawn by the warriors.'' 

General Wayne, before leaving Cincinnati, (Fort Washington,) had re- 
ceived from General Knox, then secretary of war, his final instructions. 
" The Indians," said the latter, " have refused to treat ; and you ars 
now to judge, whether your force will be adequate to make them feel the 
superiority of our arms. Every offer has been made to obtain peace by 
milder terms than the sword. These efforts have failed, under circum- 
stances which leave nothing for us to expect but war. Let it, therefore, 
be again, and for the last time, impressed on your mind, that as little' as 
possible is to be hazarded — that your force be fully adequate to the object 
you propose to effect — and that a defeat "at the present time, and under 
present circumstances, would be pernicious, in the highest degree, to the 
interests of our country. Nothing further remains, but to commit you, 
and the troops employed under you, to the protection of the Supreme Be- 
ing, hoping you and they will have all possible success in the measures 
you may be about to take, to prevent the murder of helpless women and 

With these admonitions of Government to hazard as little as possible, 
the commanding general, on the 8th of August, 1794, reached the Indian 


settlements, the destruction of which formed the object of his enterprise. 
On arriving at the junction of the Auglaise and the Miami, he was rein- 
forced by eleven hundred volunteers from Kentucky, commanded by 
General Scott. He there erected a fortification, to which he gave the 
name of Fort Defiance. From thence he wrote to the secretary of war: 
" Though now prepared to strike, I have thought proper to make the 
• enemy another and last overture of peace ; nor am I entirely without 
hope of its acceptance." (See note 1.) 

Some difficulty had beforfe existed, between the militia of Kentucky 
and the regular troops ; the former, on several occasions, had refused to 
cooperate with the latter. This reluctance, however, had now vanished. 
The reputation of Wayne was a talisman, and his name a charm. His 
capture of Stony Point in the revolutionary war — " where neither the 
morass overflowed by the tide, nor the formidable and double row of 
abattis, nor the high and strong works on the summit of the hill, for a 
moment damped his ardor, or stopped his career ; where, in the face of 
an incessant fire of musketry, and a shower of shells and grape-shot, he 
forced his way through every obstacle, and being struck on the head by 
a musket-ball, fell, and immediately rising on one knee, exclaimed : 
^ March on, and carry me into the fort : if the wound be mortal, I will 
die at the head of the column !' " — was now remembered ; and the name of 
" Mad Anthony," a name he had acquired in camp, sunk deep into every 

General Wayne's expectations of peace having now vanished — the 
Bavages, elated *by the success which had hitherto attended their arms, 
and the impressions made by it on the other tribes ; stimulated also by 
promises of aid, given by the British agents, and still more by the actual 
intrusion of a British garrison, within the limits of the United States, 
and evidently established to supply Indian wants, and sustain Indian pre- 
tensions — he advanced on the 15th to Roche Debout. Here he erected 
a small fortification, called Fort Deposite ; disencumbered himself of his 
stores and baggage, and on the 20th of August, advanced toward the 
enemy. Having carefully reconnoitered their position on the preceding 
day, he found it, in all respects, well adapted to defence. Its right flank 
was covered with thickets nearly impervious ; its entire front by an 
abbatis formed by a tornado ; and its left rested on the river Miami. Be- 
hind these natural and accidental barriers, lay the enemy, consisting of 
two thousand warriors, in three lines at open order, with flanks widely 
extended . 

After a march of about five miles, Wayne's advance guard was briskly 
attacked from a thicket of tall grass and underwood. The general im- 
mediately directed the legion to form in its customary order of battle ; 
dispatched General Scott with the mounted men to turn their left flank, 
and fall on the rear, and ordered " the front line of legionary infantry to 
advance with trailed arms, and arouse the Indians from their coverts with 
the bayonet ; and when up, to deliver a close and well-directed fire on 


their backs, followed by a brisk charge, so as not to give them time to 
load again.'"' These orders were promptly obeyed, and so irresistible was 
the bayonet charge, that both Indians and Canadians were driven from 
their position, and completely routed, before either Scott's corps or the 
second legionary line could get up to take part in the action. The 
American loss was one hundred and seven, while that of the enemy was 
far greater ; the battle field being, strewn with dead bodies, both red 
and white. " We remained," says the general in his official report, 
" three days and three nights on the banks of the Miami, in front of the 
field of battle, during which time all the houses and corn were consumed 
or otherwise destroyed, for a considerable distance, both above and below 
Fort Miami, and we were within pistol-shot of the garrison of that place, 
who were compelled to remain quiet spectators of this general devastation 
and conflagration." 

On the 24th of August, 1795, the army began its march for Greenville, 
and on their way laid waste whole villages and corn-fields for a distance of 
fifty miles on each side of the river. This service, however unpleasant 
to the commander, was necessary to bring the Indians completely to their 
senses, and being prescribed to him as a duty, could not be evaded ; nor 
were its effects overrated ; convinced of the evils of war when brought to 
their corn-fields and cabins, they sued for peace. It was promptly granted, 
and on the 1st of January preliminary articles were signed, which, on the 
7th of August, were confirmed at Greenville, and faithfully observed until 
the war of 1812. 

Immediately after the action. General Wayne received a note from 
Major Campbell, the British commandant at Fort Miami, dated August 
21st, 1794, in which he observes : '■' An army of the United States, said 
to be under your command, having taken post on the banks of the Miami 
for the last twenty-four hours, almost within reach of the guns of this 
fort, belonging to his majesty, the King of Great Britain, occupied by his 
majesty's troops, and which I have the honor to command, it becomes me 
to inform myself, as speedily as possible, in what light I am to view your 
making such near approach to the garrison." To which General 
Wayne on the same day replied : " Without questioning the authority, or • 
propriety, sir, of your interrogatory, I think I may. without breach of 
decorum, observe to you that, were you entitled to an answer, the most 
full and satisfactory one was announced to you from the muzzles of my 
small arms yesterday morning, in the action against hordes of savages 
in the vicinity of your fort, which terminated gloriously to the American 
arms. But had it continued till the Indians, etc., were driven under the 
influence of the guns you mention, they would not have much impeded 
the progress of the victorious army under my command — as no such 
post was established at the commencement of the present war between 
the Indians and the United States." 

The effects of this expedition couM not well be overrated. Besides 
putting an end to the war, brutal as bloody, and waged without respect to 


age or sex throughout the whole western frontier, it quieted Indian excite- 
ment at the north and the south. It opened to a civilized population the 
fine region which had been the theatre of hostilities. It allayed factious 
feelings at home, while abroad, it hastened the pending negotiation with 
Great Britain, by which the American posts, so long and so pertinaciously 
withheld by the former, were at last given up. 

On the 19th of November, 1794, the treaty of amity, commerce, and 
navigation, between the United States and Great Britain, was signed at 
London, and received at the office of the secretary of state, in Phila- 
delphia, on the 7th of March, 1795. It was ratified thereafter by the 
president and Senate, and the hatchet in the Northwestern Territory was 
temporally buried- 

Previous to the peace of 1795, under the auspices of General Wayne 
" and his twenty-five hundred commissioners, without a quaker among 
them," some of the officers and soldiers who had accompanied General 
Clarke in his expedition to Kaskaskia, returned, and formed what was 
called the American settlements. They were much annoyed by the 
Kickapoo and other warriors, during the period of which we have been 
speaking ; while the French settlements on the Mississippi, owing to 
their intercourse with, and their control over, the savage hordes which at 
that time roamed our prairies, escaped unhurt. Soon after the peace 
above referred to, emigration to some considerable extent took place, and 
in 1810, soon after the territorial government was formed, the population 
of Illinois was twelve thousand two hundred and eighty-two. Previous 
also to that time, and while this State was also a part of the Northwest- 
ern Territory, it was divided into two counties, Randolph and St. Clair. 
(See-note 2.) 

In 1803, a new territory, (Indiana,) was formed, and William H. Harri- 
son, late President of the United States, was appointed its first governor. 
It embraced all of the Northwestern Territory, except the present State 
of Ohio. Illinois was, therefore, a part of the territory of Indiana, until 
1809, at which time it was erected into a territory of itself, and on the 
3rd of December. 1818, was admitted into the Union, as one of the Uni- 
ted States of America. 


General Wayne, in his letter to Little Turtle, says : " If war be your choice, the blood 
be upon your own heads. America shall no longer be insulted with impunity. To an 
all-powerful and just God, I therefore commit myself and my gallant army." Little Tur- 
tle, who had planned and led the attack at the defeat of Harmer, and St. Clair, urged the 
Indians to embrace the terms. In his appeal to the Miami warriors, when speaking of 
General Wayne, he says : " We have beaten the enemy twice under separate command- 
ers. We cannot expect the same good fortune to attend us always. The Americans are 
now led by a chief who never sleeps. The night and the day are alike to him ; and du- 
ring all the time he has been marching upon our villages, notwithstanding the watchfbl- 
nees of our young men, we have never been able to surprise him. Think well of it ! 
There is something whispers me, it would be prudent to listen to his offers of peace." 

NOTE 1.1. 


The jurisdiction of the St. Clair county court, extended over all that part of lUinois 
north of the boundary line, and included the whole of Wisconsin. An action having 
been brought before a justice of the peace in Cahokia for a cow, and a recovery had for 
sixteen dollars, the suit was appealed to the county court. The adverse parties, and most 
of the witnesses lived in Prairie du Chien, (now in Wisconsin,) about four hundred miles 
distant. The sheriff of St. Clair county having received a summons for the parties, and 
subpoenas for the witnesses, and being also an Indian trader, iitted out a boat, and having 
stocked it with goods adapted to the Indian market, proceeded thither with his papers. 
Having served the summons and subpoenaed the witnesses, (including most of the resi- 
dents of Prairie du Chien,) he made his return, and charging, as he had a right to do, 
a travel fee for each, his cost, and the costs of the suit altogether, it is said, exceeded nine 
hundred dollars. We have never heard whether the costs were paid or not. 

Strong prejudices have ever since been felt toward large counties in this State. Wheth- 
er those prejudices have grown out of the circumstances above related, or the cupidity of 
individuals having village lots to sell at " the county seat," we are as yet unadvised. 


"Tecumseh — Little Turtle — Tecmnseh's hostility to wliite men — Its cause — Its conse- 
quence — Count Zwenzendorff,of Saxony — Tecumseh's brother, the Prophet — Tecum- 
seh commences his labors — Visits all the tribes living between the Lakes and Florida 
— Earthquake of New-Madrid — Its effect on the Indians — General Harrison, Gover- 
nor of Indiana — Tecumseh's brother visits General Harrison at Vincennes personally 
— Tecumseh liimself visits General Harrison, and requests that the lands which had 
been ceded to the Americans, should be given up, alleging that " they belonged to all 
the tribes, and could not be parted with, except by the consent of all" — Tecumseh 
visits General Harrison in 1810, accompanied by three hundred warriors — His con- 
versation with the latter — Tecumseh offers to form an alhance with the United States 
on certain conditions — General Harrison proposes, that in case of war, the cruelties 
before practiced by the savages be discontinued — Tecumseh assents, and aftei'ward 
keeps his word — General Harrison desires that the 4th United States regiment, com- 
manded by Colonel Boyd, be sent to Vincennes — Also, leave to act offensively as 
soon as he shall become satisfied of Tecumseh's hostile intentions — Both requests 
granted — Murders in Illinois committed — Governor Edwards — Interview between 
General Harrison and Tecumseh, on the 27th of July, 1811, at Vincennes — The lat- 
ter departs for the South — Indian warriors assemble at Tippecanoe, and are harangued 
by the Prophet — Other murders committed — Houses robbed and horses stolen — The 
Prophet professes pacific intentions — Persons in pursuit of horses stolen fired upon by 
the Indians — General Harrison marches with a military force toward the Prophet's 
town, September 5, 1811 — His sentinels fired upon — Battle of Tippecanoe, Septem- 
ber 7, 1811 — Indians defeated — Its effect — Tecumseh returns after the battle — Dis- 
avows any intention to make war upon the Americans — Afterward joins the British 
at Maiden, in Upper Canada. 

NoTwiTHSTiiNDiNG the treaty of Greenville, made by General Wayne 
with the Miamies and other western tribes, in 1795, by which an exten- 
sive tract of country, northwest of the Ohio, was ceded to the United 
States, and notwithstanding other cessions had afterward been made, and 
considerable portions of each were actually held and occupied by Ameri- 
can settlers, the idea of making the Ohio river a boundary between the 
red and white men, was still entertained by a considerable portion of its 
native population. No one perhaps of their number cherished this idea 
with greater ardor than Tecumseh. 

Little Turtle, the Miami chief, who had fought with great skill and 
bravery, and obtained several decisive victories, had long cherished simi- 
lar thoughts. His defeat, however, by General Wayne, (in a battle un- 
dertaken against his own convictions,) and the subsequent conduct of the 
British toward their defeated allies, induced him to renounce the English 
for ever, and to become an advocate for peace. He had frequently vis- 
ited Philadelphia and Washington, and becoming satisfied of the inutility 


of further attempts to effect an object once dear to his heart, had become 
the white man's friend, and at the time of which we are about to speak, 
was comfortably living upon Eel River^ in Indiana, about twenty miles 
from Fort Wayne, in a house erected for him by the American govern- 

The idea of making the Ohio a boundary line, was fostered also by the 
British agents and authorities in Canada. We find, as early as 1804, 
Colonel McKee, the English agent, using, in conversation with the In- 
dians, notwithstanding England and the United States were at peace, the 
following language : " My children, your father. King George, loves his 
red children, and wishes his red children supplied with everything they 
want. He is not like the Americans, who are continually blinding your 
eyes, and stopping your ears with good words, that taste sweet as sugar, 
while they get all your lands from you." 

The great principle, in fact, upon which most of the Indian wars during 
the last ninety years have been predicated, has been the preservation of 
their lands — more properly speaking, perhaps, their hunting-grounds. 
On this the French, the English, and the Spanish, have in turn excited 
them to active resistance against the expanding settlements of the Ameri- 
cans. Hence they became allies of the French, in 1756. After the peace 
of 1763, the English succeeded the French, and instigated them in a 
similar manner. Tecumseh however required no such instigation. His 
hatred toward the whites, was like that of Hannibal to the Romans. 
From his boyhood to the hour he fell, nobly battling for the rights of his 
people, he fostered an invincible hatred to white men. On one occasion 
he was heard to declare, that " he could not look upon a white man with- 
out feeling the flesh crawl upon his bones." This hatred, however, was 
not confined to the Americans. Circumstances made him the ally of the 
English, and induce*d him to fight under their banners ; still, he neither 
loved nor respected them. He understood their policy. He knew their 
professions were hollow, and that when instigating him and his people to 
hostilities against the United States, that the agents of Britain had less 
anxiety for the rights of the Indians, than the injuries which, through their 
instrumentality, might be inflicted on the American Republic. Tecumseh 
was a patriot, and his love of country made him a statesman and a war- 
rior. He saw his race driven from their native land, and scattered like 
leaves before the blast. He beheld their morals debased, their indepen- 
dence destroyed, their means of subsistence cut off". New and strange 
customs, introduced ruin and desolation around and among them. He 
looked for the cause of these evils, and believed he had found it in the 
flood of white emigration, which, having surmounted the towering Alle- 
ghanies, was spreading itself over their hunting-grounds, and along the 
banks of the Sciota, the Miami, and the Wabash, whose waters from time 

* Little Turtle died at Fort Wayne, on the 14th of July, 1812, and was buried with the 
honors of war. This was after the battle of Tippecanoe, (which he regretted,) and before 
the commencement of hostilities between the United States and Great Britain. 


immemorial liad reflected the smoke of the rude, but populous villages of 
his ancestors. As a statesman he studied the subject, and having satis- 
fied himself that justice was on the side of his countrymen, he tasked the 
powers of his expansive mind, to find a remedy for the mighty evil which 
threatened their total extermination.* 

Tecumseh entered upon the great work he had long contemplated, in 
the year 1805 or 1806. He was then about thirty-eight years of age. 
To unite the several Indian tribes, many of which were hostile to, and 
had often been at war with each other, in this great and important under- 
taking ; prejudices were to be overcome, their original manners and cus- 
toms to be reestablished, the use of ardent spirits to be abandoned, and all 
intercourse with the whites to be suspended. The task was herculean 
in its character, and beset with difficulties on every side. Here was a 
field for the display of the highest moral and intellectual powers. He 
had already gained the reputation of a brave and sagacious warrior, and 
a cool-headed, upright, wise, and efficient counsellor. He was neither a 
war nor a peace chief, and yet he wielded the power and influence of 
both. The time having now arrived for action, and knowing full well, 
that to win savage attention, some bold and striking movement was neces- 
sary ; he imparted his plan to his brother, the prophet, who adroitly and 
without a moment's delay, prepared himself for the pai't he was appointed 
to play in this great drama of savage life. Tecumseh well knew that 
excessive superstition was everywhere a prominent trait in the Indian 
character ; and therefore, with the skill of another Cromwell, brought 
superstition to his aid. (See note 1.) 

Suddenly, his brother began to dream dreams, and see visions ; he be- 
came afterward an inspired prophet, favored with a divine commission 
from the Great Spirit — the power of life and death was placed in his 
hands — he was appointed agent for preserving the property and lands of 
the Indians, and for restoring them to their original happy condition. 
He thereupon commenced his sacred work. The public mind was aroused, 
unbelief gradually gave way ; credulity and wild fanaticism began to 
spread in circles, widening and deepening, until the fame of the prophet 
and the divine character of his mission, had reached the frozen shores of 
the lakes, and overran the broad plains which stretch far beyond " the 
great father of waters." Pilgrims, from remote tribes, sought with fear 
and trembling the head-quarters of the prophet and the sage. Proselytes 
were multiplied, and his followers increased beyond all former example. 
Even Tecumseh became a believer, and seizing upon the golden oppor- 
tunity, he mingled with the pilgrims, won them by his address, and on 
their return sent a knowledge of his plan of concert and union to the most 
distant tribes. 

The bodily and mental labors of Tecumseh next commenced. His 
life became one of ceaseless activity. He travelled, he argued, he com- 

* See Drake's life of Tecumseh. 


manded. His persuasive voice was listened to one day by the Wyandots, 
on the plains of Sandusky ; on the next, his commands were issued on 
the banks of the Wabash. He was anon seen paddling his canoe acrosS 
the Mississippi, then boldly confronting the Governor of Indiana, in the 
council-house at Vincennes. Now carrying his banner of union among 
the Creeks and Cherokees of the south, and from thence to the cold and 
inhospitable regions of the north, neither intoxicated by success, nor dis- 
couraged by failure. (See note 2.) 

A combination of Indians, more formidable, and more extended than 
any which this Continent had ever witnessed, was thus nearly completed, 
when the battle of Tippecanoe — fought during his absence, and in viola- 
tion of his orders — terminated at once his career, and compelled him to 
become a mere accessory to England, in the war that followed. General 
Harrison was, at that time. Governor of Indiana; and Vincennes, on the 
Wabash, between Indiana and Illinois, the capital. He was also super- 
intendant of Indian affairs, and in both capacities had a difficult and ardu- 
ous duty to perform. 

Having heard, in 1807, of some extraordinary movements among the. 
Indians, he reproved them in the severest terms. The prophet (Tecum- 
seh's brother) replied, denying any intention to make a disturbance, and 
desired that General Harrison would " not listen any more to the voice 
of bad birds." In the spring of 1808, the Indians in the vicinity of Fort 
Wayne neglected their corn-fields, in order to listen to the prophet ; and 
in the autumn of that year, were almost destitute of food. To jjrevent 
depredations upon the settlements. General Harrison ordered the Ameri- 
can agent, at Fort Wayne, to furnish them with provisions from the pub- 
lic stores. During the summer of that year, the prophet selected Tippe- 
canoe as his permanent residence, and his numerous disciples followed 
him thither. From thence he sent word to Genei'al Harrison, in July, 
that he intended to make him a visit. He accordingly, in August, re- 
paired to Vincennes, where he remained two weeks, addressing frequently 
his disciples in presence of the governor ; and, on every occasion, spoke 
in strong terms of " the evils of war, and spirituous liquors." 

On leaving Vincennes, he declared that he did not wish the Indians to 
take up the hatchet, either for the British or the Long Knives. 

In 1809, Tecumseh met Governor Harrison, and claimed the lands 
which had previously been ceded by the Miamies, " because they belonged 
to all the tribes, and could not be parted with, except by the consent of all." 
This argument being too absurd to elicit Governor Harrison's attention, 
Tecumseh returned in bad humor to his people, and redoubled his exer- 
tions to bring about a combination of the wh6le western tribes. 

In the following year, 1810, he visited General Harrison at Vincennes, 
accompanied by three hundred warriors, completely armed. This nu- 
merous body-guard created an unusual seneation, and many supposed 
that a war would immediately follow. By the prudence, however, of 
General Harrison, the storm which had hovered for some time over the 


American settlements, descended in a genial shower ; although Tecumseh 
had declared, that all that General Harrison had said " wsis false, and 
that he, and the seventeen Fires, had cheated and imposed upon the Indi- 
ans ;" and General Harrison had told him, " that he was a bad man, and 
must immediately leave the village." 

Tecumseh, on the next day, requested another interview, to explain his 
conduct. On this occasion, his manner was respectful and dignified. On 
the following day. General Harrison visited Tecumseh in his camp, at- 
tended only by an interpreter, and was politely received. A long con- 
versation ensued, in which Tecumseh declared, " That the policy which 
the United States had pursued, in purchasing lands from the Indians, he 
viewed as a mighty water, ready to overflow his people ; and that the con- 
federacv he was forming among the tribes, to prevent any individual tribe 
from selling without the consent of the others, was the dam he was erect- 
ing, to resist this mighty water." He stated further, " that he should reluc- 
tantly be drawn into a war with the United States, and if he (the governor) 
would prevail on the president to give up the land lately purchased, and 
agree never to make another treaty, without the consent of all the tribes, 
he would assist them in a war about to take place with the English ; that 
he preferred being an ally of the seventeen Fires, (seventen States,) but 
if they did not comply with his request, he would be compelled to unite 
with the British." The governor replied, " that he would make known 
his views to the president, but that there was no probability of their being 
agreed .to." " Then," said Tecumseh, " the Great Spirit must determine 
the matter. It is true, the president is so far off that he will not be injured 
by the war. He may sit still in his town, and drink his wine, while you 
and I will have to fight it out." This prophecy, it will be seen, was lit- 
erally fulfilled ; and the chieftain who uttered it, attested its fulfilment 
with his blood. The governor, in conclusion, proposed to Tecumseh that^ 
in the event of a war, he should use his influence to put an end to the 
cruel mode in which it had hitherto been carried on. To this, Tecum- 
seh cheerfully assented ; and it is due to his memory, that he ever after- 
ward kept his word. 

.The border difficulties continuing, General Harrison requested of the 
war department, that the fourth regiment of the United States troops, then 
at Pittsburgh, under the command of Colonel Boyd, should be ordered to 
Vincennes, and at the same time, asked for authority to act offensively, as 
soon as he ascertained that the Indians were decidedly hostile. Both re- 
quests were immediately granted. 

On the 27th of July, 1811, Tecumseh again visited General Harrison, 
at Vincennes, with about four hundred warriors. Some murders had pre- 
viously been committed in Illinois ; and Governor Edwards had apprised 
General Harrison of the fact, and that he believed they were committed 
by the Shawndes. Both territories were in a state of great alarm ; and 
the secretary of war was oftjcially notified, that if the General Govern- 
ment did not take measures to protect the inhabitants, they were deter- 


mined to protect themselves. In this last conference, Tecumseh stated 
that, " after much trouble and difficulty, he had induced all the western 
tribes to unite, and place themselves under his direction. That the Uni- 
ted States had set him the example, of forming a strict union among all 
the Fires that compose their confederacy. That the Indians did not 
complain of it, nor should his white brothers complain of him for doing 
the same thing, in regard to the Indian tribes. That as soon as the coun- 
cil was over, he was to set out on a visit to the southern tribes, to prevail on 
them to unite with those of the north. That the murders spoken of, ought 
to be forgiven, and that he had set the whites an example of the forgiveness 
of injuries, which they ought to follow. That a great number of Indians 
were coming to settle at Tippecanoe, in the autumn, and would need the 
tract (which the Americans had contemplated surveying,) for a hunting, 
ground. That he wished everything to remain in its present situation, 
till his return ; when he would visit the president, and settle all difficulties 
with him." 

The governor made a brief reply, saying, '• That the moon which they 
beheld," (it was then night,) " would sooner fall to the earth, than the 
president suffer his people to be murdered with impunity. And that he 
would put his warriors in petticoats, sooner than give up the country 
which he had fairly acquired from the rightful owners." Here the coun- 
cil terminated. 

It has frequently been asked whether Tecumseh, in either of the' above 
visits, contemplated actual violence ; and several answers have been 
given. The better opinion, however, is, that he merely wished to im- 
press the whites with an idea of his strength, and at the same time gratify 
his ambition as a chieftain, at the head of a numerous retinue of warriors. 
Tecumseh, as soon as the council had broken up, returned to Tippecanoe, 
and shortly thereafter, accompanied by a few followers, commenced his 
journey to the south.* 

In the meantime, the prophet's town became a grand centre for the 
restless of every tribe. Here they were daily harangued ; the most 
awful incantations were practiced ; the spirit of prophecy was indulged 
to its fullest extent : and the. deluded followers of the impostor were told 
of a hundred charms " to protect them from the weapons of white men." 
Houses were occasionally robbed, horses were stolen, and a few murders 
were committed. The prophet's encampment was daily filling up with 
the bold, the reckless, and daring of every hostile tribe ; and his force 
in a short time amounted to a thousand warriors. 

Called together to attack the whites, they became reckless ; their sav- 
age, habits could bear no restraint ; and the prophet made no attempt to 
control their lawless desires. Parties wandered about the country, and 
the sun scarcely rose, ere its rays fell on the body of some mangled 
victim. The cries of women and children,^nd the smoke of the burning 
cabin, ascended up on high, and called for vengeance. 

* See Drake's life of Tecanaseh, 


Notwithstanding these hostile indications, the prophet, as late as Sep- 
tember, sent assurances to Governor Harrison of pacific intentions. 

Some horses, however, about the same time were stolen, and the owners 
while in pursuit of them, were fired upon by the Indians. Early in Sep- 
tember, the governor moved with a body of troops in a direction toward 
their town, and shortly thereafter, one of his sentinels was fired upon by 
the Indians, and severely wounded. 

On the 5th of September, 1811, Governor Harrison, with about nine 
hundred effective troops, encamped within ten miles of the prophet's town. 
This force was composed of two hundred and fifty of the fourth regiment of 
United States infantry, one hundred and thirty volunteers, and a body of 
militia. On the next day, the Indians, when the army was about five miles 
distant from the village, refused to hold any conversation with the interpre- 
ter sent forward by the governor, to open a communication with them. 
When about a mile and a half from the town, a halt was made for the pur- 
pose of encamping for the night. Several urged an immediate attack upon 
the town, and among them, Joseph H. Davis, an eminent lawyer from Ken- 
tucky, (from whom the county of Joe Davis, in Illinois, derives its name.) 
This Governor Harrison declined, as his instructions from the president 
were positive, not to attack the Indians so long as there was a probability 
of their complying with the demands of Government, Captain Dubois 
was thereupon sent forward to ascertain the desired intelligence. The 
Indians made no reply ; whereupon the governor determined to consider 
them as enemies, and at once to march upon the town. He had proceeded, 
however, but a short distance, when he was met by three Indians, one of 
whom was a councillor of the prophet, who stated, that they were sent 
to know why an army was marching thither ; that the prophet wished to 
avoid hostilities ; that he had sent a pacific message to Governor Harri- 
son by the Miami and Pottawatomy chiefs, who had failed to meet him 
on his march. A suspension of hostilities was therefore agreed upon, and 
the terms of a peace were to be settled on the morrow. To some, how- 
ever, the morrow never came. 

The army was then marched to an elevated spot, nearly surrounded 
by an open prairie, with water convenient, and a sufficiency of wood for 
fuel. The ground was judiciously selected, and was about three-fourths 
of a mile from the village. No one anticipated an attack during the 
night, because it was supposed that if the Indians intended to act offen- 
sively, it would have been done on their march — where the ground was 
broken, and the army, therefore, compelled to change its position fre- 
quently in the. course of a mile. 

The Indiafis had fortified their town with care, and great labor, as 
though they were intending to act upon the defensive only. It "wfas to 
many a favorite spot ; had long been the scene of those mysterious rites, 
performed by the prophet ; ,and they were taught to believe, and many 
unquestionably did believe, that it was wholly impregnable. 

We have already remarked, that no one anticipated an attack. Strict 


•"oi'ders, however, were given, in case of such an event, that each corps 

maintain its position at all hazards, until relieved. The whole army, 

during the night, lay upon their arms ; the regular troops in their tents, 

.'iwith their accoutrements on, and their arms by their sides ; the militia, 

■who had no tents, with their clothes and accoutrements on, and their guns 

■-«nder their heads, to keep them dry. The order of encampment was the 

same as the order of battle ; and as every man slept opposite to his post 

in the line, the troops had nothing to do, in case of an assault, but to rise 

and form in rear of the fires, around which they had slept. A guard, 

consisting of one hundred and fifty men, commanded by a field officer, 

., -was set ; the night was dark and cloudy, and after midnight, there was 

a drizzling rain. Such was the position of the American army on the 

evening of the 6th of September, 1811. 

Governor Harrison, on the morning of the 7th, according to his usual 
'practice, arose a little before four o'clock ; and while drawing on his 
boots, and conversing with the gentlemen of his family — who were reclin- 
ing on their blankets, waiting for the signal, which in a few moments 
would have been given, for the troops to turn out, (the orderly drum hav- 
ing already been roused for the reveille) and the moon, overshadowed 
by clouds, giving a dim and sickly light — the Indians commenced a 
furious attack upon the left flank of the camp. They had crept up so 
near to the sentinels, as to hear them challenge when relieved ; and had 
intended to rush in upon and kill them before they had time to fire. One 
of them, however, discovered an Indian creeping toward him in the grass, 
and fired. It was followed by an Indian war-whoop, and a desperate 
charge. The whole army was instantly on its feet. The camp-fires 
were extinguished. The governor mounted his horse, and proceeded to 
the point attacked. Some of the companies took their places in the line, 
in forty seconds after the report of the first gun ; and all the troops 
were prepared for action in less than two minutes. The battle immedi- 
'*'ately became general, and was maintained on both sides with desperate 
valor. The Indians advanced and retreated by the aid of a rattling 
noise, made with deer's hoofs, and persevered in their attack, with an ap- 
parent determination to conquer or die. The battle raged with unabated 
fury and mutual slaughter, until daylight, when a -gallant and success- 
iful charge drove the Indians into a swamp, and put an end to the conflict. 
Previous to the assault, the prophet had given assurances to his follow. 
ers that, in the coming contest, the Great Spirit would render the ai-ms 
■ "of the Americans unavailing ; that their bullets would fall harmless at 
-the Indians! feet. That the latter would have light in abundance, while 
-the former would be involved in darkness. Availing himself of the 
'-privilege conferred by his peculiar office ; and unwilling to test, in his 
-own person, the truth of his prophecy, he prudently took a position on an 
'^adjacent eminence ; and when the action began, he commenced per- 
forming some mystic rites, and singing a war-song. Being informed 
ihat.his men were falling, he told them to fight on, it would soon be as 



he had predicted ; and in louder and wilder strains than before, continued 
his inspiring song — commingled as it was with the sharp crack of the Ame- 
rican rifle, and the shrill war-whoop of his brave but deluded followers.* 
The Indians were commanded by some daring chiefs, and although 
their spiritual leader was not actually in the battle, he did much to en- 
courage his followers in their daring attack. Of the force of the Indians 
we have no certain account. There was probably eight hundred or a 
thousand. Besides Shawnees, there were the Kickapoos of the prairie, 
several bands of the Pottawatomies, from the Illinois river and Chicago, 
and the St. Josephs, of Lake Michigan. 

The Indians left thirty-eight on the field ; others were* undoubtedly- 
killed, and the number of wounded was unusually great. 

Of the Americans, thirty-five were killed in the action, twenty-five died 
of their wounds afterward, and the whole number of killed and w^ounded 
was a hundred and eighty eight. x\mong the former was the much 
lamented Abraham Owen, and Major Joseph H. Davis. 

Governor Harrison himself was slightly wounded. Both officers and 
men behaved with much coolness and bravery, and covered themselves 
with laurels. 

Peace on the frontiers was among its happy results. The tribes which 
had already joined in the confederacy were dismayed, and those who had 
thus far been neutral were encouraged to persevere. 

The prophet's town was immediately deserted, the houses w^ere prin- 
cipally burnt, and the corn in its vicinity destroyed. On the 9th, the 
army commenced its return to Vincennes. 

The defeated Indians were exasperated against the prophet ; they re- 
proached him in bitter terms for the calamity he had brought upon them, 
and accused him of the murder of their friends who had fallen in battle. 
One of the surviving Winnebagoes told him to his face, that ••' he was a 
liar." His sacred character was so far forfeited, that the Indians actually 
bound him with cords, and threatened to put him to death. With the 
battle of Tippecanoe he lost his popularity and favor ; his magic wand 
was broken, and his mysterious charm dissipated for ever. 

The prophet was rash, presumptuous, and deficient in judgment. He 
was no sooner left to act for himself, without the sagacious counsel and 
positive control of Tecumseh, the master spirit of the day. than he anni- 
hilated his own power, and crushed the grand confederacy, which had 
cost him and his brother years of toil, peril, and privation. 

Tecumseh returned from the south, where it is believed he had made 
a strong and indelible impression, a few days after the disastrous battle 
of Tippecanoe ; saw the dispersion of his followers, the disgrace of his 
brother, and the destruction of his long-cherished hopes. When he first 
met the prophet, he reproached him in bitter terms, and the latter attempt- 
ing to palliate his conduct, he seized him by the hair, and shaking him 
violently, threatened to take his life. 

» Drake'3 life of Tecumseh. 


Tecumseh immediately sent word to Governor Harrison, that he had 
returned from the south, and that he was ready to make the promised 
visit to the president. The governor gave him permission to go to Wash- 
ington, but not as the leader of a party of Indians. The haughty chief, 
who had made his visit to Vincennes, attended by three or four hundred 
warriors completely armed, had no wish to appear befo-re " his great 
father the president," stripped of his power. The proposed visit was 
therefore declined ; and the amicable intercourse between the Shawnee 
chief and the governor thus terminated. 

hi June following, (1812,) he sought an interview with the Indian agent .' 
at Fort Wayne ; disavowed any intention to make war upon the United v 
States, and reproached General Harrison for having marched against his ' ' 
people during his absence. The agent replied to this ; Tecumseh listened ' 
with frigid indifference, and after making a few general remarks, with a. ' 
haughty air left the council-house, and departed for Fort iVIalden in Upper , 
Canada, where he joined the British standard. -, 


An extraordinary instance of this is related by Chapman, in his account of the Moya- 
vian mission in Pennsylvania. In 1742, Count Zwinzendorff, of Saxony, came to America 
on a religious mission, in connection with the Moravians. Having heard of. the Shaw- 
anoes of Wyoming, a branch of the tribe from whence Tecumseh derived his origin, he 
resolved to establish a mission among them. The Shawanoes, supposing that the mis- 
sionary was in pursuit of their lands, determined to assassinate him ; and fearing that by 
so doing, they should excite other Indians to hostility, they resolved to do it privately." 
The attempt however was, apparently by accident, defeated, and the account given of it • 
by Chapman, is as follows : " Zwinzendorff was alone in his tent, seated upon a bundle of • ' 
dry weeds, which composed his bed, and engaged in writing, when the assassins ap- 
proached to execute their bloody commission. It was night, and the cool air of Septem- 
ber had rendered a small tire necessary for his comfort and convenience. A curtain, " „ 
formed of ti blanket, and hung upon pins, was the only guard to his tent. The heat of his 
fire had aroused a large rattlesnake which lay in the weeds not far from it, and the reptile, ' 
to enjoy it more effectually, had crawled slowly into the tent, and passed over one of his 
legs, undiscovered. Without, all vv'as still and quiet, except the gentle murmur of the 
river at the rapids about a mile below. At this moment, the Indians softly approached ■ 
the door of his tent, and slightly removing the curtain, contemplated the venerable man, ■ , 
too deeply engaged in the subject of his thoughts, to notice either their approach, or the 
snake, which lay before him. At a sight like this, even the hearts of the savages shrunk 
from the idea of committing so horrid an act ; and quitting the spot, they hastily returned 
to the town, and informed their companions that the Great Spirit protected the white man, 
for they had found him with no door but a blanket, and had seen a large rattlesnake crawl , 
over his legs without attempting to injure him. This circumstance, together with the 
arrival soon afterward of Goonrod Weizer, the interpreter, induced some of them to em- • 
brace Christianity." 


Drake, in his hfe of Tecumseh, relates the following astonishing fact. We report it, 
without vouching for its authenticity. ! 

" On his return from Florida, he was among the Creeks in Alabama, urging them to» 
unite with the Seminoles. Arriving at Tuckhabatchee, a Creek town on the Tallapoosa . 


river, he made his way to the lodge of the chief called the Big Warrior. He explained 
bis object, delivered his war talk, presented a bundle of sticks, gave him a piece of wam- 
pum and a hatchet, all of which the Big Warrior took ; when Tecumseh, reading the 
intentions and spirit of the Big Warrior, looked hirn in the eye, and pointing his finger 
toward his face, said : ' Your blood is white — you have taken my talk, and the sticks, and 
the wampum, and the hatchet, but you do not mean to fight. I know the reason : you do 
not believe that the Great Spirit has sent me. You shall know. I leave Tuckhabatchee 
directly, and shall go straight to Detroit. When I arrive there, I vrtll stamp on the ground 
with my foot, and shake down every house in Tuckhabatchee.' So saying, he turned and 
left the Bi"^ Warrior in utter astonishment, at both his manner and threat, and pursued his 
journey. The Indians were struck no less with his conduct, than was the Big Warrior, 
and began to dread the arrival of the day, when the threatened calamity would befall 
them. They met often, and talked over this matter, and watched the day carefully, to . 
know the time when Tecumseh would reach Detroit. The morning they had fixed upon, 
as the period for his arrival, at last came. A mighty rumbling was heard. The Irtdians 
all ran out of their houses. The earth began to shake, when at last, sure enough, every 
house in Tuckhabatchee was shaken down. The exclamation was in every mouth, ' Te- 
cumseh has got to Detroit.' The effect was electrical. The message he had delivered to 
the Big Warrior was believed, and many of the Indians took their rifles and prepared for 

The reader will not be surprised to learn, that an earthquake produced all this ; but he 
will be, doubtless, that it should happen on the very day in which Tecumseh arrived at 
Detroit, and in exact fiilfilment of his threat. It v/as the famous, earthqiiake of New- 
Madrid, on the Mississippi. •.'-.■-.■..-■.'"'•■• 


Franklin's opinion of the peace of 1783 — The United States a commercial rival rf 
Great Britain — England attempts to cripple their growth by renewing an obsolete 
rule of 1756 — Impressment of seamen — Americans sensitive upon the subject — ^ItS 
manner of execution — The doctrine that " a ship on the high seas is inviolable," 
denied by England — Certificates of nativity or " protections" given — Are disregarded 
— Our relations with France not the most friendly — Embargo — Non-intercourse-^ 
Attack upon the Chesapeake — War, June 18, 1812 — Intelligence of it received diffe- 
rently in different places — American army did not exceed five thousand men — Un- 
prepared for war — Canada also unprepared — General Hull — Governor of Michigan — 
Afterward commander-in-chief of the Northwestern Army — Repairs to Ohio in April, 
1812 — Leaves Ohio for Detroit, June 1, 1812 — Reaches the Miami of the lakes in the 
latter part of June — ^ July Ist., sends a vessel to Detroit with invalids, baggage, etc— 
July 2nd., 1812, hears of the Declaration of War — Intelligence thereof received in 
Canada before — Vessel captured — General Hull reaches Detroit, July 5th, 1812 — 
July 6th, receives orders to commence offensive operations — July 12th, he crosses 
thfi Niagara — Issues a proclamation to the Inhabitants of Canada — Its effect — Mai- 
den — Attacks and defeats an advanced guard — A panic produced in the British gar- 
rison — Recrosses the river and evacuates Canada, August 8th, 1812 — Mackinaw 
taken by the British, July 17, 1812 — Intelligence thereof received by General Hull, 
July 26th — Captain Brush arrives on the River Raisin with supplies — Major Van 
Home sent to his reUef — The latter defeated — Colonel Miller sent afterward — 
Battle of Brownstovra, August 9th, 1812, in which Colonel Miller defeats the British 
and Indiana — Armistice between General Sir George Provost and General Dearborn, 
August 8th, 1812— General Brock reaches Maiden with reinforcements, August 14th, 
1812 — Goes to Sandwich, opposite Detroit, on the following day — Demands the 
surrender of Detroit — Letter to General Hull — General Hull's answer — British croSB 
the Niagara — Approach Detroit — Detroit surrenders — Its effect. 

Soon after the peace of 1783, a person in conversation with Dr. Frank- 
lin observed, that he was glad " the war of Independence was over." 
" Fou mean, sir," said the doctor, " the war of the Revolution — the war 
of independence is yet to come." Those to whom the events of the late 
contest with England are familiar, can appreciate the above remark ; 
strangers, however, to its origin and events, must read and reflect a little 
before they can appreciate its value. 

An attempt on the part of England, without right, to exercise power 
over the United Colonies, first broke the ties of dependence, and severed ■ 
the British empire ; her illiberal policy toward the United States, weak- 
ened, afterward, the influence of affinity which true wisdom would have 
taught her to cherish, and rendered a people, attached to " their father- 
land" by a thousand ties, alien for ever. ^ 


England, until the late war, never renounced entirely her views of 
subjugation. Force having been resorted to in vain, recourse was now 
had to policy. For several years subsequent to the peace of 1783, our 
affairs were unpromising. The confederation was too feeble to keep the 
States in unison. England saw the difficulty, and, influenced by her 
wishes, hoped, ere long, to see us divided and conquered. The seeds of 
dissension were sown, but gathered up by patriots before they had taken 
root; the elements of civil disorder were let loose, but hushed by a 
master-spirit to repose. England, having thus lost an opportunity to 
tamper with individual States, to foment difficulties, and govern by di- 
vision, now changed her policy, and sought to repress the growth of our 
Republic, by throwing obstacles in her way. 

The expansive power of freedom exalted, in a short time, the United 
States into a commercial rival of England ; and the French Revolution 
made her, as such rival, formidable. England, to arrest American com- 
petition, revived a rule of 1756, considered by the whole of Europe a 
violation of the law of nations — a rule which prevented a neutral from 
enjoying any commerce which could not, at the same time, be open to 
the belligerent. In other words, an order " to permit no neutrals." Her 
proceedings in council of the 8th of January, 1793, became a source of 
great vexation ; and her orders of the 6th of November, authorizing her 
cruizers to capture '• all vessels on the high seas, laden with the produce 
of any of the colonies of France, or carrying provisions or supplies to or 
from said colonies,'"' swept the greater part of our commerce from the 
ocean. The American merchants, without distinction of party, gave 
vent to their feelings in the strongest terms ; the act was regarded 
as wicked as well as treacherous. The war of the Revolution had 
not been forgotten ; that with the savages still raged, and the western 
posts were pertinaciously retained. Commercial restrictions, therefore, 
of the kind we have mentioned, in the then state of the public mind, were 
not calculated to engender harmony. Washington, however, was at the 
helm ; he desired to stand aloof from European politics, and the influence 
of his name and character preserved us from the vortex to which we were 
tending. Jay's treaty, in 1794, sanctioned with reluctance, prolonged the 
truce, and averted, for a while, an appeal to arms. 

The same abuses, however, were still continued ; remonstrance after 
remonstrance was sent forth ; and neither Washington, with all his fame, 
nor the elder Adams, with all his skill, could produce a change in her 
principles or her policy. 

The violation of our commercial and maritime rights, was also accom- 
panied by another subject of complaint, more vexatious than either ; one 
on which the Americans have justly been sensitive. I allude now to the 
impressment of American seamen. 

As England is " the only modern nation within the pale of civilization, 
at least of those who recognize the general maritime law, who does not 
consider the flag as protecting the person who sails under it, and as we 


are the only people who, during peace, have been dragged from our ships 
on the high seas, by Christian nations, and condemned to servitude ;" and 
as the question is still unsettled, after a bloody war between kindred 
people, of three years' continuance ; and liable again to be renewed, 
whenever circumstances shall render the practice of it of any use to the 
former — it demands some further consideration. 

England, in theory, has always pretended, that a person born within 
the realm became, of course, an English citizen, and could not expatri- 
ate himself, and become a citizen of another country ; that she had a 
right, notwithstanding his naturalization elsewhere, to claim the services 
of such a person, under any and every vicissitude. Her practice, how- 
ever, has been otherwise. No nation in the world, during the last fifty 
years, has employed so many foreign seamen as England. By an act of 
Parliament, a person, by serving two years in the English navy, becomes 
ipso facto, naturalized, and acquires all the rights of an English subject. 
It will, therefore, be seen, that her principles and her practice are at 
'variance. This frequently happens, not only to nations but to individuals, 
whp, disregarding entirely the rules of right, adopt, as their basis of ac- 
tion, the rules of might, as has too often been the case with this " mistress 
of the seas." 

The practice of impressment grew up from a small beginning ; and, 
by improvident acquiescence on our part, without conceiving it possible, 
that it ever would assume so horrible a shape, became, and was in fact, 
an insult to the whole civilized world. The manner in which it was ex- 
ercised even augmented its atrocity ; and the climax of humiliation to 
which Americans were subjected, a century hence will scarcely be cred- 

A lieutenant in the British navy, and sometimes even a midshipman, on 
boarding an American vessel, caused its crew to be mustered on deck, 
and selected such as suited his purpose. The good sailor was, of course, 
an Englishman, and therefore impressed ; and the poor sailor an American. 
Voyages were thus frequently broken up, and the safety of American 
vessels thus endangered, for want of mariners to conduct them to their 
destined port. 

At first, England claimed a right to search our merchantmen, for de- :■ 
serters from the public service of Britain; she next claimed a right to 
impress English seamen engaged on board our ships ; and finally, that 
every perspn who could not prove on the spot, to the satisfaction of the 
boarding officer, that he was an American, should be carried into bond- 
age ; and, against his will, should be compelled to fight the battles of 
England, and to become the executioner of his friends and brethren, or 
to fall himself by their hands. * 

The insidious conduct of England, in relation to impressment, may, 
therefore, be compared with the approach of the serpent to our first 
mother, described by Milton. 

England also asserted a right to search " neutral vessels for enemies' 


goods." The doctrine laid down in the law of nations, "that a ship ou 
the high seas is as inviolable as the territories of the nation at peace ;" 
admitted by the whole of Europe as correct international law, and denied 
only by England, whose power on that element happened to predominate, 
was thus disregarded ; and a principle adopted, which no other nation 
ever did, or ever can recognize, without a sacrifice of her independence. 

England might as well have claimed her subjects from our territories, 
as from our ships. Whatever may have been her right, to prevent the 
subjects of Great Britiain from quitting the land of their birth, or of pun- 
ishing them for so doing, when their services were required at home, she 
certainly had no right to pursue them into our territory, or demand them 
from us, unless by virtue of express stipulations. 

When she was pressed for a reason to justify h6r conduct, the only one 
she deigned to give was, that " she was contending for her own exist- 
ence," and must have men to man her thousand ships. During Wash- 
ington's administration, as early as 1794, the British government was 
officially told : " That they might as well rob the American vessels of 
their goods, as drag the American seamen from their ships in the manner 
practiced by them." The subject became, at length, a theme of repro- 
bation and remonstrance by every patriotic statesman in our country. 
Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Marshall, Jay, Picker- 
ing, King, and a host of others, all concurred. Our Grovernment, instead 
of resisting the practice by force of arms, gave certificates of nativity, in 
common parlance known as " protections." And the American seaman 
was thus compelled to stoop to the humiliation, of carrying about on the 
high seas his papers ; — as if a piece of paper would protect a seaman, 
when his country's flag had lost its efficacy. These, however, were 
shortly unavailing. They were torn in pieces by the petty officers to 
whom they were presented for examination, and their fragments scattered 
to the winds : England thus asserting, and maintaining the right, of 
dragging from underneath our flag, •' every one who could not prove 
upon the spot, that he was not a British subject." Seven thousand Ameri- 
can citizens were thus, it was said, at one time retained in the British ser- 
vice against their will. The number may have been exaggerated, and 
probably was; but if it was seven hundred, the principle is the same, and 
demanded relief or vengeance. Although war had not been declared, 
the feelings of the American people, from day to day, became more and 
more hostile. 

Our relations, in the meantime, with France, were not of the friendliest 
kind. Her deportment was eccentric, lawless, and unstable. She was 
"a comet, threatening all nations." Our true wisdom was, therefore, 
to keep out of her way. On the ocean she was but little to be dreaded, and 
in no condition to execute her threats. England issued her Orders 
in CJouncil : Napoleon, his Berlin and Milan Decrees, and the ocean 
soon presented the humiliating spectacle of " a traveller robbed, and the 
robbers quarrelling about the spoil." This, however, was called "re- 


foliation." France declared, that we suffered the depredations oT Eng- 
land with more patience than her own; and England, that she alone had 
a right to plunder us. An embargo was first resorted to on our part ; a 
non-intercourse afterward ; neither of which were, or could be enforcedi 
And Napoleon, " having first announced a sense of returning justice, on 
the 18th of June, 1812, the United States and Great Britain were at war. 

Among other causes of irritation, was an attack upon the Chesapeake, 
which for a while convulsed the nation. A Government ship, in a time 
of peace, was suddenly attacked in our own waters, compelled to sur- 
render, and several seamen alleged to be British, were forcibly taken from 
her. The outrage admitted of no apology, and its effects on the American 
mind, were at first overwhelming. Party animosity was suspended — 
meetings were held in almost every village — the newspapers were filled 
with formal addresses — volunteer companies were organized ; and in the 
frenzy of the moment, a universal cry for war immediately went forth. 
England, however, apologized for her conduct ; said that she never pre- 
tended to the right of impressing American citizens; yielded to the humil- 
iati9n of surrendering those impressed, upon the very deck from which 
they had been forced ; and to evince her sincerity, removed the officer by 
whom the violence had been committed. 

The justice of the late war with England, cannot then be questioned. 
Its necessity, by some, was denied ; and its policy at that particular time, 
was severely ai'raigned. That our Government were unprepared for the 
event, all admit. That defeat and disaster, from some cause or other, at ' 
first attended our arms, is a matter of history; and that Britain read in 
our naval combats, a commentary on her practice of impressment, and 
her tyranny of the sea, no one can deny. 

War having been declared on the 18th of June, 1812, and the bill for 
that purpose having passed both Houses of Congress, signed and approved 
by the president, and become a law, it was publicly proclaimed on the 
following day, and the event variously received throughout the country. 
In some places, demonstrations of joy, and in others, of sorrow, were im- 
mediately apparent. The commercial prosperity of the Atlantic cities, 
injured, as it was, by the depredations of the two great contending pow- 
ers in Europe ; and lingering, in hopes of better times, was now at an 
end. Their ships were to be laid up, and their business to cease ; the 
coasts of the southern States were to be laid open to marauding expedi- 
tions, and the western frontier once more to be exposed to the horrors of 
Indian warfare. 

Insults and injuries — violated honor and violated rights, however, de- 
manded its declaration ; and being once declared by lawful authority, 
the love of country demanded its support. 

The number of enlisted soldiers in the American army, at that time, 
did not exceed five thousand. The president was authorized, however, 
to accept the services of fifty thousand volunteers, and to call out one 
hundred thousand militia. • The best troops in the world being wholly 


inefficient, unless commanded by able and experienced officers, much 
difficulty arose, at first, in making proper selections. Those renowned 
in arms during the revolutionary war, had principally paid the debt of 
nature. Those that remained, were either advanced in years, or had 
acted merely as subalterns ; and all, without distinction of age, had laid 
aside their military habits from long repose. One opinion, however, pre- 
vailed to a considerable extent, that great reliance might yet be placed 
on the revolutionary soldier ; and hence, from that circumstance alone, 
selections to the chief commands at first were made, and corrected after- 
ward, as experience led the way. 

The whole military force of Canada, at that time, did not exceed two 
thousand regular troops; and a large portion of its population, especially 
in the upper province, was friendly to the American cause. Its con- 
quest, therefore, was considered by many as an easy matter ; " a mere 
breakfast spell," as some pretended soldiers in military garb, and some 
flaming patriots, " with more sail than ballast, and less sense than either," 
used frequently to remark. Buffalo was little else than a collection of 
log.-houses ; the southern shore of Lake Erie was nearly a wilderness ; 
Detroit scarce anything but a military station ; IVTackinaw and Chicao-o, 
were military and trading posts ; and the northern parts of Ohio, Indiana, 
and Illinois, the abode of savages ; in the main, hostile to the United 
States, and friendly to England. The busy hum of commerce now per- 
vading our ports, was unheard ; and the active, enterprising population, 
now spread over lands where the white and the red man were about to 
contend for victory, was then far away. (See note 1.) 

When Michigan was erected into a territory, in 1805, Colonel, after- 
ward General Hull, was appointed its first governor. His name had 
long been familiar to the American people, having been an officer of 
high repute in the revolutionary army. Early in 1775, he exchanged 
the profession of law for that of arms ; and enlisting a company of infan- 
try in the State of Connecticut, repaired to Cambridge, and arrived there 
soon after Washington had assumed upon himself its chief command. 
When the British evacuated Boston, in 1776, Captain Hull repaired to 
New-York with his company ; and in the battle of White Plains was 
wounded. From thence he crossed the Hudson, and accompanied the 
commander-in-chief in his retreat through New-Jersey ; fought afterward 
at the battles of Trenton and Princeton, and for his gallant conduct there, 
was promoted to a majority. He was present, and commanded a battal- 
ion at the taking of Burgoyne ; aided in the defence of Fort Stanwich ; 
wintered with the army at Valley Forge, in 1777 ; led the eighth Mas- 
sachusetts regiment afterward, at the battle of Monmouth ; and com- 
manded the American left wing at the taking of Stony Point, where, at 
midnight, with unloaded arms, he advanced at the head of his column to 
the attack, and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He af- 
terward escorted the commander-in-chief into New-York, after its evac- 
uation by the British ; and after the preliminaries of peace had been 


signed, at the head of his regiment, he also escorted the beloved com- 
mander of our armies to his barge, and paid him the last military honors 
which he received from those gallant troops, which had followed his 
standard through all the vicissitudes of the revolutionary war. 

During this period, the public orders issued to the army ; the resolu- 
tions of the old Continental Congress ; the letters of General Washington, 
and the letters and orders of other generals, under whom he had served, 
make frequent and honorable mention of his name. Having been Gov- 
ernor of Michigan from 1805, down to the period of which we are about to 
speak, and being also superintendent of Indian affairs ; having the repu- 
tation, too, of a gallant soldier, educated in the very best of schools, 
where could a leader for the northwestern army have been found, of 
fairer or more brilliant promise ? He was accordingly selected by Mr. 
Madison for that purpose — not, however, at his own solicitation, as will 
:; appear from the following letter of Gt>vernor Eustis, the secretary of war. 

"In the latter part of February, 1812, information was received from Mr. Atwater, 
■ then secretary of the Territory of Michigan, and acting as governor, that there were strong 
appearances of hostiUties among the Indians, and that the territory was in danger ; that 
General Hull urged on him, as secretary of war, the expediency and necessity of ordering 
a force there, for the protection of Detroit, the Territory of Michigan, and the northern 
frontier ; that he (General Hull,) declined, in the first instance, accepting the office of 
brigadier general ; that Colonel Kingsbury was thereupon ordered to Washington, for the 
purpose of proceeding to the State of Ohio, to take the command of this force, and on ac- 
count of bodily indisposition, was not ordered on the command ; and afterward, when he 
(General Hull,) was appointed, it was not solicited by him ; and that he manifested great 
anxiety for the safety of the northern frontier, and the Territory of Michigan." 

Previous to the declaration of war. General Hull, as Governor of 
Michigan, stated in several letters to the war department, the necessity 
of more troops for the defence of the northwestern frontier ; and in case 
of a war with England, (an event which was then probable,) that a naval 
force on Lake Erie would be indispensable." He stated further, " that 
without such a force, an army could not be supported at Detroit," and 
. that " that place, together with Mackinaw and Chicago, must necessarily 
fall into the hands of the enemy ;" "that an army also on the Niagara 
frontier, to assist and cooperate with the army at Detroit, would also be 
, . essential." The propriety and correctness of the above suggestions, no 
one at that time, or since, has presumed to arraign. 

The exposed situation of the northwestern frontier, being thus made 
known to the administration, not only by General Hull, but by others, 
adequate measures, it was supposed, were taken for its safety. Early in 
the spring of 1812, the Governor of Ohio was called upon by the presi- 
deltt, "to detach twelve hundred militia, and prepare them for actual 
'service." These being joined by the 4th United States regiment, then 
at Vincennes, were ordered afterward to Detroit ; and Governor Hull 
was desired by the president to accept a brigadier's commission, and 
take upon himself their command. He at first declined the appointment, 


and Colonel Kingsbury was selected for that purpose. The latter, how- 
ever, being ill, the application to Governor Hull was renewed, and he 
iwas thereupon nominated, and appointed brigadier general in the United 
States army. He at on<?e accepted the appointment, and entered upon its 
duties, as he says, "with no other view than to afford the frontier inhab- 
itants, and those of the Territory of Michigan, protection against the sav- 
ages." Indeed, such alone must have been the object, for war had not 
been declared. On the 6th of March, 1812, about a month before he was 
appointed brigadier general, he addressed another letter to the war de- 
partment, in which he says : 

" If we cannot command the ocean, we can command the inland lakes 
' of our country. I have always been of opinion, that we ought to have 
built as many armed vessels on the lakes as would have commanded 
them — ^we have more interest in them than the British nation, and can 
build vessels with more convenience." 

He afterward stated, that, without such a naval force, the army he 
was to command must be strengthened by additional numbers, and 
must be followed by other detachments, so as to keep open the communi- 
cation, and insure it supplies from Ohio ; and unless it was supported by 
cooperations from other quarters, it could not maintain itself at Detroit, 
much less carry on offensive operations in Canada. That he considered 
his force insufficient "for invasion or defence," in case of a war; and 
that the army under his command, would be led into a situation from 
which there would be no escape ; and that the whole country, with our 
military posts at Mackinaw and Chicago, would fall. 

Commodore Stewart, of the navy, was afterward appointed to superin- 
tend the building of a fleet on Lake Erie, but declined the appointment, 
and nothing was effectually done for that purpose, till the gallant Perry, 
after the defeat of our armies, repaired thither, and achieved one of the 
most signal victories related in our annals. 

In April, 1812, General Hull left Washington, and shortly thereafter 
took command of the forces then assembled in Ohio ; Dayton, at that 
time a frontier settlement, was their place of rendezvous. " Although," 
says General Hull, " the officers and soldiers appeared to be animated 
with zeal, yet in reviewing them and inspecting their equipments, they 
were found without discipline, and destitute of arms and clothing neces- 
sary for military operations." 

The 4th United States regiment, consisting of three hundred effective 
men, having joined the twelve hundred militia from Ohio, the whole, on 
the first of June, 1812, commenced their march for Detroit. The dis- 
tance to be traversed was about two hundred miles. The country was 
then a wilderness ; without roads — without bridges, and part of it -filled 
with hostile savages. Some of the militia at first hesitated, and afterward 
refused to march ; induced, however, by the 4th regiment of United 
States troops to proceed, they did so, and submitted to its fatigues and 
privations with great patience, reflecting infinite credit on themselves and 


their country. After traversing this uninhabited wild, building four 
block-houses on their road, and leaving garrisons of invalids in each, 
they reached the Miami of the lakes, with great labor, in the latter part 
of June, 1812 ; and on the first of July, General Hull directed the quar- 
ter-master to hire a small vessel at the foot of the Rapids of the Miami, 
and send the invalids, and the baggage not wanted on their march, by 
water to Detroit. 

On.the next day, (July 2nd) General Hull received from the secretary 
of war, a letter delivered him by a stranger, and forwarded by the post- 
master at Cleveland, in these words : 

" Sir : War is declared against Great Britain. You will be on your guard. Proceed 
■to your post (Detroii) with all possible expedition. Make such arrangements for the 
defence of the country, as in your judgment may be necessary, and wait for further 
~ orders." i. .; "^ . : ■. 

It bore date on the 18th of June, 1812. On the 24th of June, si.x days 
before, he had received a letter from the secretary of the same date, in 
which " not one word was said respecting a declaration of war." The 
letter first received, was written on the morning of the 18th, before the 
law had passed ; the letter last received, was written in the afternoon or 
^evening of the same day, after the law had passed ; and was not received 
•by General Hull till eight days after the delivery of the letter written in 
the morning. By some strange fatality, knowledge of the war had reached 
Maiden, (Amhersfburg,) in Canada, some days before it was received by 
General Hull. The vessel hired to transport the invalids and baggage Detroit, in passing Maiden, was thereupon captured, with a lieutenant 
and thirty men, and all their baggage, together with a part of the military 
'Stores belonging to the army. 

General Hull, when he received intelligence that war had been 
declared, received no assurances from Government that any preparations 
were making to secure an ascendency on the lake ; no assurances that 
Teinforcements were to be in readiness to give security to convoys from 
•Ohio ; no assui'ances that an army was prepared, or preparing, to coope- 
rate with him on the Niagara frontier. His reflections, therefore, were not 
of the most cheering kind. He knew, however, that " the first duty of a 
. isoldier was 1o obey orders," and therefore marched to Detroit as speedily 
as possible. He reached the latter place on the 5th of July ; and both 
(Officers and men manifested a desire to cross the river immediately, and 
(Commence offensive operations. A council of war was thereupon 
called ; his instructions " to march with all possible expedition to Detroit, 
and there wait for further orders," were submitted to this council for 
their consideration ; and, notwithstanding his instructions, the officers 
:gave it as their opinion, that it was expedient to cross the river immedi- 
ately, and take possession of the opposite bank. General Hull, however, 
informed them " that as long as he commanded that army, he should obey 
the orders of Government." Soon after the council was dismissed he 


received orders, bearing date June 24th, from the war department, 
directing him to commence offensive operations. 

He replied immediately to this communication of the secretary, and 
among other things stated, that he " did not think his force equal to the 
reduction of Amherstburg, (meaning the fort at Maiden,) that therefore he 
must not be too sanguine in his expectations." On the 12th of July, 
having previously collected all the boats and canoes belonging to the in- 
habitants of Detroit, (Government having none there,) at daylight in the 
morning he passed the river, and reached without opposition the Canadian 
shore. On landing, he issued a proclamation to the inhabitants of Canada, 
which, on account of its novelty, its ability, its singularity, and its rarity, 
we insert entire. (See note 2.) 

The presence of an American army in Canada, and the proclamation 
of its commander, seemed for a while to produce the effect intended. In 
writing to the war department soon afterward. General Hull observes : 
"All opposition seemed to fall before it"— "the inhabitants seemed satis- 
fied with their change of situation." "The militia of Amherstburg are 
daily deserting, and the whole country under the control of the army is 
asking for protection ; while the Indians generally appear to be neutral- 
ized, and determined to take no part in the controversy." 

A prompt, steady, and well directed application of its powers, we have 
no doubt, would at that time have rendered our arms triumphant, and 
secured their ascendency, at least temporarily, in Canada. 

On approaching M.alden they had to pass a small river, across which a 
bridge had been thrown. This was in possession of a British guard, who 
apparently were determined to hold it — a skirmish ensued — the position 
was taken — the guard driven back upon the fort, whither the fugitives 
carried their panic along whh them, " creating in the garrison much 
alarm and confusion." Had the whole army advanced, as Colonel Cass 
and Colonel Miller advised, there could have been scarcely a doubt of its 
success. Maiden, in all human probability, would at that time have 
fallen almost without a struggle. A want, however, either of knowledge, 
of judgment, or of enterprise, in the American commander, became too 
apparent to be longer concealed, and paralyzed at once the efforts of the 
American army. An opportunity of reaping a harvest of laurels was 
thus suffered to pass sluggishly away, and every subsequent step which 
he afterward took, " was attended with disaster." 

After waiting at Sandwich for his artillery to be got ready, from the 
12th day of July till the 8th of August, nearly inactive, General Hull 
recrossed the river in the evening of the 7th and morning of the Sth, and 
abandoned Canada, " after an inglorious occupation of less than a month." 
He left, however, a few volunteers, commanded by Major Denny, " in 
madness or in mockery," for the protection of such British colonists as 
yet adhered to the American cause. The latter, however, were withdrawn 
three days thereafter, and Canada evacuated entirely. 

While preparations were making for an attack upon Maiden, and before 


the American army had recrossed the river, intelligence on the 26th of 
July, of the fall of Mackinaw on the 17th, was received in the American 

Isaac, afterward Sir Isaac Brock, was at that time Governor of Upper 
Canada, and a major-general in the British army. Young, active and 
brave, he sought renown at every hazard, and the honor of his king and 
country by every means. Apprised of the declaration of war by Congress 
before it reached the American camp, he transmitted the intelligence at 
orw3e to his outposts, and ere " the tardy and blundering movements of the 
American secretary had begun, his legions were in the field." Without 
waiting for instructions from Sir George Prevost, the Governor-general 
of Canada, he suggested to the commandant of St. Josephs an attack upon 

Captain Roberts, to whom this suggestion was made, though ill pre- 
pared for an enterprise of such moment, entered without delay into the- 
views of his commander, and being cordially supported by the agents of 
the two Western fur companies, collected at once three hundred English 
troops, including militia, and six hundred Indians ; and with this force 
embarked from St. Josephs on the 16th of July, reached Mackinaw on 
the following morning, and demanded its surrender. This was the first 
intimation which its garrison had received of the declaration of war. It 
was then manned by fifty-eight regular soldiers, commanded by Lieuten- 
ant Hanks, of the artillery. The inhabitants of the island fled in a body 
to Captain Roberts, and sought his protection ; and Lieutenant Hanks, 
having no hopes of succor, and being unable to defend Jiimself against 
so great a disparity of force, on the 17th of July surrendered. Security 
to the persons and property of the garrison, and the inhabitants of the 
island, was stipulated — and the British thus put into possession of a post 
aifording greater facilities than any other for intercepting Indian supplies, 
and for controlling the Indian warriors. 

The effects of its surrender on the Americans were appalling. To the 
British and their savage allies, it was a bud of mighty promise. Whole 
tribes of the latter, before neutral, were neutral no longer. 

One of the principal objects of General Hull, in evacuating Canada, 
was to open and keep open a communication between his army and Ohio. 
About the middle .of July a company of volunteers, commanded by Cap- 
tain Brush, reached the River Raisin with supplies. His march from 
thence to Detroit, (thirty-six miles,) led through a country infested by 
savages ; it was, therefore, thought expedient for him to remain at that 
place, until a detachment from the main body could be sent to his aid. 
Major Van Horn was therefore dispatched with a hundred and fifty men 
to his relief. On his second day's march, near Brownstown, he was 
unexpectedly attacked by a large party of British regulars and Indians ; 
and although his little force made a gallant resistance — commanded as it 
was by a brave and skilful officer — he was defeated with a loss of nine- 
teen killed and missing, and nine wounded. Among the former were 



Captains Gilcrease, McCuUoh, and Bosler, and among the latter, Captain 
Ullery. While the United States army was in Canada, it was in a great 
measure supplied with provisions from the British settlements in the 
vicinity of its encampment. On General Hull's retreat from thence, as 
already mentioned, those supplies consequently ceased, and the necessity 
of opening a communication between Detroit and the State of Ohio, was 
thirefore increased ; and as Captain Brush was still on the Raisin, waiting 
for an escort to head-quarters, Lieutenant-Colonel Miller, of the United 
States army, at the head of three hundred regular troops of the 4th regi. 
ment, which had distinguished itself under Colonel Boyd, at the battle of 
Tippecanoe, and two hundred of the Ohio militia, on the 9th of August 
was ordered thither. 

Although Colonel Miller proceeded with great caution, he drew near 
to an ambuscade before he was aware of it. Captain Snelliug, who com- 
manded the advance guard, being suddenly attacked with great spirit, ac- 
companied with the usual barbarous shouts of the enemy, maintained his' 
position with extraordinary braveiy, until the main body came up ; when 
the Indians, commanded by Tecurnseh, and the British regulars, com- 
manded by Major Muir, sprang up ; advanced furiously to the front of a 
temporary breastwork, formed in a regular line, and commenced a heavy 
and regular fire upon the American advance column. Colonel Miller, 
with the utmost celerity, drew up his men in battle array, delivered his 
fire with great coolness, and advanced immediately to the charge. The 
British regulars gave wa^ ; but the Indians, under Tecumseh, betaking 
themselves to the woods, continued the battle with desperate obstinacy. 
The British troops thereupon rallied, and returned to the combat, which 
was now maintained with equal resolution. The battle lasted for about 
two hours, when the British retreated " at the point of the bayonet," to 
Brownstown, from whence they hastily embarked in boats, prepared for 
their reception. The loss of tlie latter was fifteen killed, and about forty 
wounded. Of the Indians, nearly a hundred were left on the field. The 
Americans lost fifteen killed, and about sixty wounded. 

The conduct of both regulars and militia, on this occasion, cannot be 
too much or too frequently admired. Engaged with a party of British sol- 
diers, commanded by an able officer ; and at the same time attacked by 
more than five hundred savages, " painted in the most hideous manner, 
and yelling like demons," the stoutest hearts might have quailed. 

Colonel Miller kept possession of Brownstown until the following day, 
when he received orders from General Hull to return immediately to De- 

Previous to this, intelligence had been received by express from Gen- 
eral Hall, commandant of the American forces on the Niagara frontier, 
that no aid, or assistance whatever, from that quarter, could be afforded. 

Driven then to a reliance upon his own resources, General Hull made 
a further attempt to open the communication with Ohio, by pursuing a 
route across the count}y higher up than before ; and Colonels McArthur 


&nd Cass, on the 14th of August, with three hundred and fifty men, were 
dispatched on the service. 

On the same day General Brock, with a reinforcement of British troops, 
arrived at Maiden. Sir George Prevost, Governor-general of Canada 
had previously sent Colonel Baynes, his adjutant-general, with a letter 
directed to General Dearborn, at Albany, desiring a suspension of hos- 
tilities, pretending (inasmuch as the Orders in Council had been revoked) 
that the war must necessarily cease. Major General Sheafe, at the 
same time, marched with a considerable force from Montreal to Kingston, 
and from thence embarked for the head of Lake Ontario — ther'e landed, 
and collecting the militia and savages on his route, marched, to the relief 
of Maiden. General Brock, apprised of Sir George Prevost's intentions, 
and calculating on his success, left his post also on the Niagara, and re- 
sorted thither. An armistice was signed on the 8th of August, 1812,* 
between General Dearborn and Adjutant General Baynes, for suspending 
hostilities on the Canadian frontier, excluding, however, from its operation, 
the forces commanded by General Hull, and making no stipulations, re- 
quiring the British troops on the Niagara to remain in the positions they 
occupied. It is then apparent, that before the armistice was signed, all 
the British forces in Canada were put in motion, with a view to be con- 
centrated at the only point where the invasion of the upper province had 
actually been made. 

Sir George Prevost, in a letter addressed to General Brock, a few 
days afterward, (August 30th,) says : " I consider it fortunate that I have 
been able to prosecute this object of the Government (the armistice) with- 
out interfering with your operations at Detroit. I have sent you men, 
money, and stores of all kinds." 

Whatever, therefore, might have been the result of a battle in defence 
of Detroit, or of a siege, it is pretty certain that the latter must, eventu- 
ally, have fallen. 

We have already remarked, that intelligence had been received at 
Detroit, from General Hall, that no succor from that quarter need be ex- 
pected. Letters had also been received from General Hall, and also 
from General Porter, stating that the British had moved from their sta- 
tions on the Niagara, and from the eastern part of the province, and were 
crossing Lake Erie and Ontario, for Maiden. Having received no intel- 
ligence of the suspension of hostilities, and no letters whatever from 
General Dearborn, or the secretary of war, this information excited his 
surprise ; and the anival of General Brock with reinforcements at Mai- 
den, served to increase the mystery. 

The fall of Mackinaw had thrown the door wide open for British em- 
issaries, to go forth among the northwestern tribes ; and the probable 
fate of Chicago (from M^hence, however, no intelligence had been re- 

* This document is not to be found on the files of the war department. It if, however, 
well ascertained to have been dated on the eighth, as stated in the text, 



ceived,) conspired to place the army of General Hull in a perilous situa- 

General Brock, we have already observed, reached Fort Maiden on 
the 14th of August. On the next day he proceeded to Sandwich, oppo- 
site Detroit, and immediately addressed to General Hull the following 
note : 


The power, at my disposal, authorizes me to require of you the immediate surrender 
of Detroit. It is far from my inclination to join in a war of extermination ; but you must 
be aware, that the numerous body of Indians, who have attached themselves to my troops, 
will be beyond my control the moment the contest commences. You will find me disposed 
to enter into such conditions as will satisfy the most scrupulous sense of honor. Lieuten- 
ant Colonel McDonnell, and Major Gregg, are fully authorized to conclude any arrange- 
ments that may prevent the unnecessary effusion of blood. 
I have the honor to be 

Your obedient servant, 

Isaac Broce, Major General, etc. 
His excellency. Brigadier General Hull, etc. 

To this. General Hull returned the following answer : 

Head Quarters, Detroit, August 15th 1812. 

I have no other reply to make, than to inform you that I am prepared to meet any 
force which may be at your disposal, and any consequences, which may result from any 
exertion of it you may think proper to make. 

I am, etc. 

William Hull, Brigadier General. 
His e.xcellency. Major General Brock, etc. 

The British immediately opened their batteries. The fire was returned 
with but little effect on either side. Ne.xt morning the British were seen 
landing their troops at Spring Wells, a little below the town, under covei 
of their .ships. They had no sooner landed, than they advanced in close 
column toward the fort, twelve deep. The fort being separated from the 
town by an open space of two hundred yards, they were enabled to pro- 
ceed thus far, before its guns could be brought to bear upon them. 

The American force was judiciously disposed of to prevent their ad- 
vance. The militia and volunteers occupied the town, and were posted 
behind pickets, from whence they could annoy the enemy exceedingly. 
The 4th United States regiment was in the fort, and two twenty-four 
pounders, charged with grape-shot, wej'e advantageously posted on an 
eminence, and could sweep the enemy's line as he advanced. All was 
now silent expectation. The daring foe moved forward, apparently re- 
gardless of danger. The hearts of the Americans beat high " in anti- 
cipation of victory ; no sound of discontent was heard ; no appearance 
oT cowardice or disaffection seen ; every individual was at his piost, and 
expe^ed a proud day for his country and himself."* At this very «io- 

* Colonel Oass's Letter, September 10th. 


ment, when it was thought that the British were deliberately advancing 
to their own destruction — when the artillery were already pointed, and 
lighted matches were standing at their side, an order was issued by the 
commanding general not to fire ; the troops were ordered also to with- 
draw into the fort, and stack their arms ; and to the astonishment of eveiy 
one, a white flag, in token of submission, was suspended from its walls. 
" This order was received by the men with a universal burst of indig- 
nation. Even the women," says Colonel Cass, " were ashamed of an 
act so disgraceful to the arms of their country ; and all felt as was 
proper and decorous, except the man, in whose hands were the reins of 

A surrender of the whole garrison, together with the Territory of 
Michigan, at discretion, followed. The detachment under Colonels 
McArthur and Cass, and the party commanded by Captain Brush, 
were included in the capitulation. An order had been issued the dray 
before, requiring the return of McArthur and Cass's detachment ; and 
they had approached already so near as to discover the movements of the 
enemy, expecting the next moment would announce the conflict, and that 
they should participate in its glory or disgrace. They we-re much sur- 
prised, however, at the silence which reigned ; and when they heard that 
the garrison had surrendered, that surprise was mingled with rage, an- 
guish, and almost with despair. 

" Such," says General Armstrong, in his notices of the late war, "was 
the termination of the first American expedition, the details of which 
have in them so little to flatter, and so much to mortify, the pride of the 
American arms. Nor must it be forgotten that this catastrophe, however 
disgraceful in itself or disastrous in its consequences, was not the result 
of those occurrences which, in the affairs of nations and individuals, are 
denominated accidents, which sometimes triumph alike over the precau- 
tions of wisdom and the efforts of valor. We have seen that the army, 
in its march from the place of its rendezvous to that of its destination, 
was neither melted by heat, nor frozen by cold ; neither persecuted by 
storms, nor crippled by enemies ; neither wasted by disease, nor exhausted 
by famine ; but that, on the 5th of July, it arrived at Detroit in unim- 
paired health and spirits. From its friends it received a cordial welcome ; 
obtained supplies, and a considerable addition to its force ; and in its 
subsequent descent upon Canada, was scarcely less fortunate, as it found 
the British colonists indifferent, if not repugnant, to the war ; the In- 
dian ti'ibes, though secretly hostile, cautious and calculating ; and the 
fortress at Maiden, which alone sustained the enemy's interest in that 
section of the country, wholly indefensible. When, at last, important 
changes had been wrought in this state of things by the fall of Mack- 
inaw — the defeat of Van Home — the obstruction of our communication 
with Ohio — the altered tone and temper of the British and savage popu- 
lation, and the doubts and misgivings which could not but prevail in our 
ranks ; when, in a word, fortune appeared to have decidedly taken part 


with the enemy against us, it was but to lead him into indiscretions, 
which, had they been seen and punished, would have promptly reinstated 
our ascendency, and accomplished the principal objects of the campaign. 
Like other advantages, these were permitted to escape, probably with- 
out notice, and certainly without improvement, leaving us the necessary 
reflection, that our disasters were of our own making ; and the necessary 
consequence of ignorance, which knew not what to do ; of a self-suffi- 
ciency, refusing to be instructed ; and of a cowardice that, in its terrors, 
lost all sense of national interest, personal dignity, and professional 
duty." (See note 3.) 

The learned historian (afterward secretary of war himself,) might 
have added, that the general of the northwestern army was driven 
"like a lamb to the slaughter;" neglected by those ^^^ho should have 
contributed to his aid, abandoned by his friends, traduced by his enemies, 
and at last sacrificed on the altar of unchastened ambition. 

Of the merits or demerits of General Hull, it is not our intention here 
to speak. The period has not yet arrived, when the truth can be told 
with impunity. " Other times, and other men, must do justice to his 

That he was afterward "arrested, tried for treason, unofficer-like conduct, 
and cowardice — acquitted of the first, convicted of the last, sentenced to 
be shot, and recommended to mercy on account of his revolutionary 
services and advanced age — and the sentence afterward remitted by the 
president, our readers need not be told. 

The force he commanded, and the means of resistance within his power 
at the time of his surrender ; and the force of his adversary, and his 
means of annoyance, are all differently ^ated. By estimating his force 
on the 16th of August, including McArthur and Cass's detachment, at 
one thousand effective men ; and that of his victor, at about the same 
number, including militia and Indians, we should render, probably, each 
substantial justice. That General Hull, with ordinary skill and enter- 
prise, might at one time have succeeded in his attack upon Canada, we 
can readily believe ; that he might have succeeded in the defence of 
Detroit at the time he surrendered, nfiay also, without credulity, be sup- 
posed ; and had he been sustained by a naval force on Lake Erie, or by 
an army on the Niagara frontier — or in other words, had he not been 
deserted by the Government, its officers, and his country, " the standard 
of the Union might have waved in triumph over the territory of Canada ;" 
and had his force been, in fact, the " vanguard of a much greater," as 
he had a right to expect, he might, in the language of his proclamation, 
have " broken down all opposition." 

Napoleon used to say, that " there was but one step from the sublime 
to the ridiculous." History informs us, that in the lives of princes there 
is but one step from the palace to the tomb ; and every day's observation 
lessens the difference between the victor and the vanquished. (See 
note 4.) 


The sensation produced by the fall of Detroit — with the surrender by 
Hull of the Territory of Michigan, and the whole of the northwestern 
army — throughout the United States, and especially throughout the west, 
can hardly be conceived. At first it was scarcely believed, the event 
being improbable, and therefore unexpected. Notwithstanding some 
doubts had been entertained in relation to General Hull's ability to sub- 
due the country he had invaded, there were none as to his ability to de- 
fend himself. Never were a people more deeply, more universally 
chagrined. Its efiect, too, politically, was tremendous. A large portion 
of the community was opposed to the war ; and the failure of the first 
military expedition was supposed, and pretended by many, to be ominous 
of its results. Some imputed it to treachery in its commander ; some to 
his want of skill and enterprise ; some to the effects of cowardice ; some 
to the improvidence of General Dearborn ; and some arraigned even the 
administration itself. A victim, therefore, became necessary ; a victim 
was found — and, like the scape-goat of old, General Hull bore into the 
wilderness, the crimes and the follies of all, who had thus participated 
in their country's disgrace and our public disasters. 

The American people, however, soon recovered from their chagrin. 
The public spirit was immediately aroused to action, and efforts, scarcely 
surpassed in the most enthusiastic periods of the Revolution, shortly 
thereafter followed as of course. 


" The whole population of Michigan," says Governor Hull, " of which Detroit wasJhe 
capital, was between four and five thousand souls ; their settlements were on the Miami 
of Lake Erie, the river Raisin, Eros Rouge, the Detroit river. Lake St. Clair, and the 
Isle of Mackinaw. The greater part were Canadians. They were miserable farmers, 
paid little attention to agriculture, and depended principally on hunting, fishing, and 
trading with the Indians for support. The produce of the territory, in the substantial 
articles of living, was by no means sufficient for the subsistence of the inhabitants. They 
were suppUed with pork, beef, flouj, and com, principally from the States of Ohio, New- 
York, and Pennsylvania." 

NOTE n. ■ 

Governor Hull's proclamation has been a subject of much comment, both in this country 
and in Europe. Our commissioners at Ghent, in 1814, it is said, declared to the British 
plenipotentiaries, that "it was unauthorized, and disapproved of by the American 
government." The records, however, of the war department, show the fact to be' 
otherwise. On the first of August, 1812, the secretary, in reply to General Hull, says : 
"Your letters of the 13th and 14th, together vnth your proclamation, have been 
. received. Your operations are approved of by the president." The proclamation, 
in fact, was well written — appropriate to the occasion, and contained nothing of which 
an American ought to have been ashamed. Had success attended the expedition, it 
would have been considered as a model for such proclamations. In that event, as many, 
we have no doubt, would have aspired to its authorship, as afterward did to the honor of 
killing Brock or Tecumseh. 


Bt WmuAM KuhL, Governor of the Territory of Michigan, and oommaj^ding- the 

Northwest Army. 


Inhabitants of Canada : After thirty years of peace and prosperity, the United States 
have been driven to arms. The injuries and aggressions, the insults and indignities, of 
Great Britain, have once more left them no alternative but manly resistance or uncondi- 
tional submission. The army under my command has invaded your country ; the stand- 
ard of the Union now waves over the territory of Canada. To the peaceable, unoffending 
inhabitants, it brings neither danger nor difficulty. I come to find enemies, not to m.ake 
them. I come to protect, not to injure you. 

Separated by an immense ocean and an extensive wilderness, from Great Britain, you 
have no participation in her councils, no interest in her conduct. You have felt her 
tyranny, you have seen her injustice. But I do not ask you to avenge the one, or redress 
the other. The United States are sufficiently powerful to afford every security consistent 
with their rights and your expectations. I tender to you the invaluable blessings of civil, 
pohtical, and religious liberty — and their necessary results, individual and general pros- 
perity ; that liberty which gave decision to our councils and energy to our conduct, in a 
struggle for independence, which conducted us safely and triumphantly through the stormy 
period of the Revolution ; that liberty, which raised us to an elevated rank among the 
nations of the world ; and which afforded a greater measure of peace and security, of 
wealth and improvement, than ever feU to the lot of any people. 

In the name of my country, and the authority of its Government, I promise you pro- 
tection to your persons, property, and rights. Remain at your homes, pursue your 
peaceful and customary avocations — raise not your hands against your brethren. Many 
of your fathers fought for the freedom and independence we now enjoy. Being children, 
therefore, of the same family wdth us, and heirs to the same heritage, the arrival of an 
army of friends must be hailed by you with a cordial welcome. You will be emancipated 
from tyranny and oppression, and restored to the dignified station of freemen. Had I 
any doubt of eventual success, I might ask your assistance ; but I do not ; I come pre- 
palfed for every contingency. I have a force whicli will break down all opposition, and 
that force is but the vanguard of a much greater. If, contrary to your own interest, and 
the just expectations of my country, you should take a part in the approaching contest, 
you will be considered as enemies, and all the horrors and calamities of war will stalk 
before you. If the barbarous and savage policy of Great Britain be pursued, and the 
savages be let loose to murder our citizens and butcher our women and children, this war 
will be a war of extennination. The first stroke of the tomahawk, the first attempt with 
the scalpLng-knife, will be the signal of one indiscriminate scene of desolation. No white 
man found fighting by the side of an Indian, will be taken prisoner. Instant death will 
be his lot. If the dictates of reason, duty, justice, and humanity, cannot prevent the 
employment of a force which respects no rights, and knows no wrong, it will be prevented 
by a severe and relentless system of retaliation. I doubt not your courage and firmness ; 
I will not doubt your attachment to liberty. If you tender your services voluntarily, 
they will be accepted readily. The United States offer you peace, Uberty, and security. 
Your choice Ues between these, and war, slavery, or destruction. Choose, then — choose 
wisely, and may He, who knows the justice of our cause, and who holds in his hand the 
fate of nations, guide you to the result the most compatible with your rights and interest, 
your peace and happiness. 

Willi Aivi Hull. 


The remarks of Mr. Secretary Armstrong, that Governor Hull had nothmg to do, 
"but to lead his enemy into indiscretions," and then " punish" him, especially wjjen that 


enemy was Sir Isaac Brock, reminds us of the story of the rats belUng the cat ; and is 
only equalled by the Chinese " making up faces, and all sorts of grimaces," in their recent 
attempts at resisting the veteran legions of England. 

NOTE IV. •.-.•"'•■ 

The author is aware, that the account here given of General Hull's expedition, varies 
in some particulars from other published accounts. Breckeimdge, in his History of the 
late War, nowhere men ions the armistice entered into by General Dearborn, on the 8th 
of August, at Albany. General Brock, it seems, arrived at Maiden on the 14th of the 
same month, with reinforcements. General Brock could not have known it when he left 
Niagara, and must, therefore, have anticipated the " suspension of hostilities." That the 
armistice had an important bearing upon the result of the campaign, no one can deny. 

C H A P T E R X V I . . 

Chicago — Origin of its name — A fort erected here in 1804 — Its advantages — Pottawato- 
mies in its neighborhood — Tecumseh, in 1809, meditates its destruction — Massacre 
of White and others at Lee's Place, April 7, 1812 — Winnemeg, a Pottawatomy 
Indian, arrives in Chicago, with dispatches irom General Hull, August 7th, 1812 — 
Advises Captain Heald to remain in the garrison, or abandon it immediately — Ad- 
vice disregarded — Order to evacuate read on the parade — Lieutenant Helm and 
Ensign Ronan remonstrate against it — Dissatisfaction in Camp — Savages more and 
more insolent — A council held August 12th, 1812 — Captain Heald attends it alone — 
Captain Heald resolves to destroy the arms and ammunition not in use, also the 
liquor and stores — August 13th, the goods distributed among the Indians — ^Arms, 
anununition, and liquor destroyed — August 14th, Captain Wells, Mrs. Heald's brother, 
arrives in camp — Another comicil held with the Indians — The latter indignant at the 
destruction of the arms, etc. — Black Hawk's assertion — A portion of the Chiefs still 
friendly — Black Partridge — August 15th, 1812, garrison marches out of the Fort — 
Attacked by the Indians on their march — After a severe action, in which two-thirds 
of the whole number are slain, the residue capitulate — Ensign Ronan and Dr. Voorhes 
killed — Prisoners and children massacred after the battle — Billy Caldwell — A party 
of savages from the Wabash arrive — Mrs. Heald — Mrs. Helm — Lieutenant Helm and 
other prisoners — Their subsequent fate. 

OuE misfortunes did not cease with the surrender of Detroit. Other 
garrisons m.ore remote, and worse provided for, in like manner were 
abandoned or surrendered, some with, and others without resistance. 

When Detroit was thus invested by a British force, and at the very 
time its surrender was demanded by General Brock, a tragedy was act- 
ing at Chicago in Illinois, which cast all others in the shade. (See note 1.) 

By the treaty of Greenville, in August, 1795, negotiated by General 
Wayne, as well with the Pottawatomies as the Miamies, a tract of land 
six miles square, at the mouth of " the Chikago river," was ceded to the 
United States. From certain expressions used in the treaty, it would 
seem that a settlement had been made, and probably a fort, or block- 
house, had been erected by the French, on the lands thus ceded, some 
time before. Be that, however, as it may, the subject is no longer mate- 
rial. No vestige of such a settlement for many years has been visible. 
In 1804, a small fort was erected here by the United States. It con- 
sisted of two blockhouses, and a subterranean passage, from the pa- 
rade to the river, the whole of which was surrounded by a picket, and 
furnished with three pieces of light artillery. A company of United 
States troops, about fifty in number, many of whom were invalids, con- 


stituted its garrison. Its position was well calculated for offence or de- 
fence ; and its situation well adapted to effect the object for which it was 
intended, that is, " to supply the Indian's wants, and control the Indian's 

The Pottawatomies at that time inhabited, or rather overran, the coun- 
try in its vicinity. They were a numerous and warlike tribe • had 
fought the armies of Harmar, St. Clair, and Wayne ; and in the (then) 
recent battle of Tippecanoe, a number of their chiefs had fallen. Though 
hostile to the whites in general, they were partial to individuals among 
them, who by continued kindness had won, and afterward retained, their 

In addition to its garrison, a few families had removed thither, both 
French and Canadian. This little community, disconnected as it was 
from the whole civilized world, except through Indian trails to Detroit, 
Fort Wayne, and St. Louis, and across the waters of Lake Michigan, on 
which the proud flag of England triumphantly waved previous to the war 
of 1812, furnished scarcely an incident worthy of record. 

In 1809, it was selected by Tecumseh as the theatre, and marked out 
by him for savage massacre. The plans, however, of that celebrated 
warrior being then immature, its doom was postponed ; and the battle of 
Tippecanoe having been fought in his absence, Tecumseh repaired to 
Maiden, where the Pottawatomies, for several years, had received pres- 
ents from their allies, and being there aided by the English, resumed 
again his schemes of vengeance. 

On the 7th of April, 1812, a number of persons, and among them a Mr. 
White, were massacred at a place called Hardscrabble, (then Lee's 
place,) about four miles from Chicago, by a marauding party of Winne- 
bagoes. No connection, however, existing between the Winnebagoes 
concerned, and the other tribes in their vicinity, and no concert being 
apparent, between those who committed the murder and the residue of 
the tribe, the transaction, though barbarous in its nature, was permitted 
to slumber, without exciting that interest which such occurrences usually 

When war was declared in 1812, the little garrison at Chicago, con- 
sisting, as already stated, of a single company, was commanded by Cap- 
tain Heald ; Lieutenant Helm and Ensign Ronan, were officers under 
him, and Dr. Van Voorhes, its surgeon. 

The nation which declares war, selecting, of course, its own time for 
doing it, is wholly inexcusable, when no warlike preparations accompany 
the act. The last moments of peace with considerate men, will always 
be employed in obtaining correct knowledge of the force they may have 
to encounter. Another duty is equally imperative; that of speedily 
withdrawing, or promptly reinforcing, all remote and isolated posts. If 
there be anything in their position, which renders their retention import- 
ant, either to the progress or result of the war, the latter course will 


always be pursued ; but if, on the contrary, they have no material bearing 
on either, such garrisons ought speedily to be recalled, and the posts 
abandoned, while it is yet in their power. The administration knew, or 
ought to have known, that so long as the English commanded Lake 
Michigan, and the northwestern Indians were allies of the latter, the little 
fort at Chicago would not be sustained. The policy and humanity, there- 
fore, of reinforcing or withdrawing its garrison, was too plain to require 
an argument. 

General Hull, as commander-in-chief of the northwestern army, had 
charge of the forts at Mackinaw and Chicago, and was, of course, in- 
trusted with their defence ; both of which were forgotten alike by the 
Government and commanding general, until it was too late. General 
Hull, we have already observed, reached Detroit on the 5th of July, 
1812. Mackinaw, two hundred and forty miles distant by land, was 
captured on the 17th, twelve days thereafter ; and the first intimation 
that war existed between the United States and England, was communi- 
cated to Lieutenant Hanks, its commanding officer, in a note, signed by 
Captain Roberts of the British army, requiring his surrender. 

On the 7th of August, (1812,) in the afternoon, Winnemeg, or Catfish, 
a friendly Indian of the Pottawatomie tribe, arrived at Chicago, and 
brought dispatches from General Hull, containing the first, and at that 
time, the only intelligence, of the declaration of war. General Hull's 
letter announced the capture of Mackinaw, and directed Captain Heald 
" to evacuate the fort at Chicago if practicable, and in that event, to dis- 
tribute all of the United States property contained in the fort, and the 
United States factory, or agency, among the Indians in the neighborhood, 
and repair to Fort Wayne." Winnemeg having delivered his dispatches 
to Captain Heald, and stated that he was acquainted with the purport of 
the communication he had brought, urged upon Captain Heald the policy 
of remaining in the fort, being supplied, as they were, with ammunition 
and provisions for a considerable time. In case, however, Captain Heald 
thought proper to evacuate the place, he urged upon him the propriety of 
doino- so immediately, before the Pottawatomies (through whose country 
they must pass, and who were as yet ignorant of the object of his mission,) 
could collect a force sufficient to oppose them. This advice, though 
given in great earnestness, was not sufficiently regai'ded by Captain 
Heald ; who observed, that he should evacuate the fort, but having re- 
ceived orders to distribute the public property among the Indians, he did 
not feel justified in leaving it, until he had collected the Pottawatomies 
in its vicinity, and made an equitable distribution among them. Winne- 
meg then suggested the expediency of marching out, and leaving every- 
thing standing ; " while the Indians," said he, " are dividing the spoils, the 
troops will be able to retreat without molestation." This advice was also 
unheeded, and an order for evacuating the fort was read next morning on 
parade. Captain Heald, in issuing it, had neglected to consult his 
junior officers, as it would have been natural for him to do in such an 


emergency, and as he probably would have done, had there not been 
some coolness between him and Ensign Ronan. 

The lieutenant and ensign, after the promulgation of this order waited 
on Captain Heald to learn his intentions ; and being apprised for the 
first time, of the course he intended to pursue, they remonstrated against 
it. " We do not," said they to Captain Heald, " believe that our troops 
can pass in safety through the country of the Pottawatomies, to Fort 
Wayne. Although a part of their chiefs were opposed to an attack upon 
us last autumn, they were actuated by motives of private friendship for 
some particular individuals, and not from a regard to the Americans in 
general ; and it can hardly be supposed that, in the present excited state of 
feeling among the Indians, those chiefs will be able to influence the whole 
tribe, now thirsting for vengeance. Besides," said they, " our march must 
be slow, on account of the women and children. Our force, too, is small. 
Some of our soldiers are superannuated, and some of them are invalids. 
We think, therefore, as your orders are discretionary, that we had better 
fortify ourselves as strongly as possible, and remain where we are. Suc- 
cor may reach us before we shall be attacked from Mackinaw ; and, in 
case of such an event, we had better fall into the hands of the English, 
than become victims of the savages." Captain Heald replied, that his 
force was inadequate to contend with the Indians, and that he should be 
censured were he to continue in garrison, when the prospect of a safe 
retreat to Fort Wayne was so apparent. He therefore deemed it advi- 
sable to assemble the Indians, and distribute the public property among 
them, and ask of them an escort thither, with the promise of a considerable 
sum of money to be paid on their safe arrival ; adding, that he had per- 
fect confidence in the friendly professions of the Indians, from whom, as 
well as from the soldiers, the capture of Mackinaw had studiously been 

From this time forward, the junior officers stood aloof from their com- 
mander, and, considering his project as little short of madness, conversed 
as little upon the subject as possible. Dissatisfaction, however, soon 
filled the camp ; the soldiers began to murmur, and insubordination as- 
sumed a threatening aspect. 

The savages, in the meantime, became more and more troublesome ;* 
entered the fort occasionally, in defiance of the sentinels, and even made 
their way without ceremony into the quarters of its commanding officer. 
On one occasion an Indian, taking up a rifle, fired it in the parlor of Cap- 
tain Heald. vSome were of opinion that this was intended as the signal 
for an attack. The old chiefs at this time passed back and forth among 
the assembled groups, apparently agitated ; and the squaws seemed much 

* An Lidian nmner had previously arrived in the Pottawatomy camp with a message 
from Tecumseh, informing them of the capture of Mackinaw, the defeat of Van Home, 
and the retreat of General Hull from Canada. He desired them to arm immediately ; and 
intimated, that he had no doubt but General Hull would, in a short time, be compelled to 


excited, as though some terrible calamity was impending. No further 
manifestations, however, of ill feeling were exhibited, and the day passed 
without bloodshed. So infatuated, at this time, was Captain Heald, that 
he supposed he had wrought a favorable impression upon the savages, 
and that the little garrison could now march forth in safety. 

From the 8th to the 12th of August, the hostility of the Indians was 
more and more apparent ; and the feelings of the garrison, and of those 
connected with, and dependent upon it for their safety, more and more 
intense. Distrust everywhere at length prevailed, and the want of una- 
nimity among the officers, was appalling. Every inmate retired to rest, 
expecting to be aroused by the war-whoop ; and each returning day was 
regarded by all as another step on the road to massacre. 

The Indians from the adjacent villages having at length arrived, a 
council was held on the 12th of August. It was attended, however, only 
by Captain Heald on the part of the military ; the other officers refused 
to attend, having previously learned that a massacre was intended. This 
fact was communicated to Captain Heald ; he insisted, however, on their 
going, and they resolutely persisted in their refusal. When Captain 
Heald left the fort, they repaired to the blockhouse, which overlooked 
the ground where the council was in session, and opening the port-holes, 
pointed their cannon in its direction. This circumstance, and their ab- 
sence, it is supposed, saved the whites from massacre. 

Captain Heald informed the Indians in council, that he would, next 
day, distribute am"ong them all the goods in the United States factory, to- 
gether with the ammunition and provisions with which the garrison was 
supplied ; and desired of them an escort to Fort Wayne, promising them 
a reward on their arrival thither, in addition to the presents they were 
about to receive. The savages assented, with professions of friendship, to 
all he proposed, and promised all he required. 

The council was no sooner dismissed, than several, observing the tone 
of feeling which prevailed, and anticipating from it no good to the gar- 
rison, waited on Captain Heald, in order to open his eyes, if possible, to 
their condition. 

The impolicy of furnishing the Indians with arms and ammunition, to 
be used against themselves, struck Captain Heald with so much force, 
that he resolved, without consulting his officers, to destroy all not required 
for immediate use. 

On the next day, (August 13th,) the goods in the factory store were 
distributed among the Indians ; and in the evening the ammunition, and 
also the liquor belonging to the garrison, \vere carried, the former into the 
sally-port and thrown into the well, and the latter through the south gate, 
as silently as possible, to the river bank, where the heads of the barrels 
were knocked in, and their contents discharged into the stream. 

The Indians, however, suspecting the game, approached as near as 
possible, and witnessed the whole scene. The spare muskets were 


broken up, and thrown into tlve well, together with bags of shot, flints, atnd 
gun-screws, and other things ; all, however, of but little value. 

On the 14th, the despondency of the garrison was for a while dispelled 
by the arrival of Captain Wells, and fifteen friendly Miamies. Having 
heard at Fort Wayne of the order to evacuate Chicago, and knowing the 
hostile intentions of the Pottawatomies, he hastened thither, in order to 
save, if possible, the little garrison from its doom. He was the brother 
of Mrs. Heald, and having been reared from childhood among the sava- 
ges, knew their character ; and something whispered him " that all was 
not well." He was the sdn of General Wells of Kentucky, who was dis- 
tinguished alike for his courage and patriotism. Captain Wells, when a 
child, was taken prisoner by the Indians, and adopted into the family of 
Little Turtle, the most celebrated forest warrior between the days of Pontiac 
and Tecumseh. In the defeat of General Harmar, Captain Wells had 
borne a distinguished part ; and in the defeat of St. Clair, he commanded 
three hundred savage warriors posted in front of the artillery, who caused 
extraordinary carnage among those who served it ; and, uninjured him- 
self, picked off the artillerists, until " their bodies were heaped up -almost 
to the height of their pieces." 

Supposing that the whites, roused by their reverses, would eventually 
prevail, he resolved to abandon the savages and rejoin his countrymen. 
The manner in which he announced his intentions, accorded with the 
simple and sententious habits of the forest warrior. While travelling the 
woods one morning in company with his adopted father, the " Little Tur- 
tle," he pointed to the heavens, and said : " When the sun reaches the 
meridian, I leave you for the whites, and when you meet me in battle, 
you must kill me, as I shall endeavor to kill you." The bonds, however, 
of affection, which had bound these singular and gifted men together 
were not severed or weakened by this abrupt dereliction. Captain Wells 
immediately joined the army of General Wayne, and by his intimacy 
with the wilderness, his knowledge of the Indian haunts, habits, and 
modes of warfare, became a powerful auxiliary. He served faithfully — 
fought bravely through the campaign, and at its close, when peace had 
restored the Indians again to amity, he rejoined his foster father, the "I<it- 
tle Turtle," and their friendship continued unbroken.* 
, This intrepid warrior of the woods, hearing that his friends at Chicago 
were in danger, and chagrined at the obstinacy of Captain Heald, who 
was thus hazarding their safety, came thither to save his friends, or par- 
ticipate in their fate. He arrived, however, too late to effect the former, 
but just in time to effect the latter. Having, on his arrival, learned that 
the ammunition had been destroyed, and the provisions distributed among 
the Indians, he saw there was no alternative. Preparations were there- 
fore made for marching on the morrow. 

In the afternoon, a second council was held with the Indians, at which 

* Colonel Whiting's Historical Discourses, delivered at Detroit in 1832. 


they expressed their resentment at the destruction of the ammunition and 
liquor, in the severest terms.* Notwithstanding the precautions which 
had been observed, the knocking in of the heads of the whiskey barrels 
had been heard by the Indians, and the river next morning tasted, as some 
of them expressed it, " like strong grog." Murmurs and threats were 
everywhere heard ; and nothing, apparently, was wanting but an oppor- 
tunity for some public manifestation of their resentment. 

Among the chiefs, there were several who participated in the general 
hostility of their tribe, and retained, at the same time, a regard for the 
few white inhabitants of the place. It was impossible, however, even for 
them to allay the angry feelings of the savage warriors, when provoca- 
tion after provocation had thus been given ; and their exertions, therefore, 
were futile. 

Among this class was Black Partridge, a chief of some renown. Soon 
after the council had adjourned, this magnanimous warrior repaired to 
the quarters of Captain Heald, and taking off a medal he had long worn, 
said : " Father, I have come to deliver up to you the medal I wear. It 
was given me by your countrymen, and I have long worn it, as a token 
of our friendship. Our young men are resolved to imbrue their hands in 
the blood of the whites. I cannot restrain them, and will not wear a to- 
ken of peace when compelled to act as an enemy." 

Had doubts previously existed, they were now at an end. The devoted 
garrison continued, however, their preparations as before ; and amid the 
surrounding gloom, a few gallant spirits still cheered their companions 
with hopes of security. 

The ammunition reserved, twenty-five rounds to each soldier, was now 
distributed. The baggage-wagons designed for the sick, the women and 
the children, containing also a box of cartridges, were now made ready, 
and the whole party, anticipating a fatiguing, if not a disastrous march, 
on the morrow